If you have a severe injury to an extremity, the doctor may suggest amputation. Unless it is an emergency situation, the doctor will generally consult with you beforehand and get your consent to do the surgery. It is always a good idea to be informed and to know why the doctor is making this recommendation. It also can help to reassure you that this is really a necessary procedure.
To begin with, amputations are something that are often done as a last resort. According to WebMD, they generally only occur if you have a situation where there is damage to the arteries, death of tissue or an infection that will not get better with treatment. Amputations are typically performed to prevent the spread of infection or necrosis to healthy surrounding tissues, preventing further loss of viable tissue and even loss of life. In fact, in many instances an amputation is a lifesaving operation.
Your doctor will determine if you need an amputation by assessing the area. The pulse will be checked. Blood flow may also be checked. The skin condition is considered, along with temperature. The doctor looks for signs of circulation which are present in healthy tissue.
During the amputation, all of the tissue that is affected by the underlying issue is removed. The surgeon is careful to leave behind enough tissue and to make the cut in the right area so you can get a prosthetic. You will receive a lot of aftercare to help ensure you heal correctly and learn to live with your new situation. This information is for education purposes only and is not legal advice.