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Levels And Goals Of Amputation

In determining how much of a limb to amputate, the surgeon must take several factors into consideration. When dealing with amputation due to disease, the surgeon's first and most important goal is to remove enough of the appendage or limb to insure the elimination of the disease. For example, when amputating to stop the spread of a malignant tumor, the surgeon's objective is to remove any portion of the limb or tissue that may be infected by the malignancy.

Other considerations in determining the level of amputation include leaving enough of a stump so that an artificial limb (prosthesis) may be attached in a functional manner. As a result, whenever possible, the surgeon will try to save functioning joints like knees and elbows.

Further goals of amputation surgery include leaving a scar that will heal well and is painless, retaining as much functioning muscle as possible, successfully managing nerve ends, achieving hemostasis (stopping the flow of blood) in veins and arteries through ligation, and proper management of remaining bone.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Ambiguity - Ambiguity to Anticolonialism in Middle East - Ottoman Empire And The Mandate SystemAmputation - History, Reasons For Amputation, Levels And Goals Of Amputation, Prosthetics And Limb Reattachment, Phantom Limb