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Limb Preservation Program Now Available at Central Connecticut

October 20, 2020

The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain has launched the Limb Preservation Program, designed to help patients maintain as much mobility and function of their lower extremities as possible.

Peripheral artery disease, vascular disease, non-healing leg wounds and diabetes are some of the conditions that put someone at high risk of losing a limb. The goal of Limb Preservation is to avoid amputation, if possible, and prevent future health issues.

“Statistically speaking, there are 10 percent of people in the country who are diabetic,” said Dr. Robert S. Napoletano, associate chief of surgery at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.  “Diabetes is the highest-risk group for vascular disease and over the course of their life about 50 percent of diabetics end up with some type of amputation.”

The Limb Preservation Program has a very simple and coordinated concept: Give patients access to the latest in technology and multiple medical experts all in one setting.

Patients have access to several specialties, including:

  • Podiatry.
  • Infectious disease.
  • Vascular specialist.
  • Endocrine.
  • Wound care.
  • Physical rehabilitation.

“Once people know this is available to them, they are more likely to take advantage of it,” Dr. Napoletano said.

Patients can be referred to the Limb Preservation Program by their primary care physician or call directly themselves. After the initial call, a nurse or medical assistant will then set up an appointment for a consultation and from there direct the patient to the appropriate specialists based on their diagnosis or condition.

Dr. Parth Shah, director of vascular and endovascular surgery at The Hospital of Central Connecticut says they treat all limbs, but mainly focus on the lower extremities, which are critically important.

“Our legs are the vehicles we need to stay healthy. If we don’t have legs or the ability to walk we are not able to exercise or maintain a quality of life, which leads to other health issues,” Dr. Shah explains.

Anyone experiencing issues with their legs or feet is encouraged to seek treatment.

“If someone is a smoker or has health issues, such as heart problems, diabetes or high blood pressure, and they notice anything from pain in their legs after walking long distances to ulcers on their feet that won’t heal, we want to see them to address the issues and ultimately preserve their leg so they don’t end up with an amputation,” said Dr. Shah.

If an amputation is necessary, the team of Limb Preservation experts will try to make it as minimal as possible – taking into account health concerns and quality of life.

“If a patient is headed towards a below knee amputation and we can change that and just do the forefoot and save their heel, those patients will walk normally with a prosthesis in their shoe,” says Dr. Napoletano.

Both doctors remind patients that prevention is key and staying ahead of health issues before they become major problems is important.

“Another goal for the Limb Preservation Program is once we identify a patient at risk, such as diabetes or a history of toe amputations, we want to get them into our system long-term so they will get regular checkups and if their disease is progressing we can intervene early and prevent amputation,” said Dr. Napoletano.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 860.224.5425 or click here.


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