Amputation Prevention

Preserving Limbs Is Our Priority

Have you been told that you are at risk for limb amputation? You have options — and the Coastal Vascular Specialists Amputation Prevention Center in Clearwater Florida is here to help. 

Facts About Amputation

  • 90% of all amputations are lower extremity
  • 77% Males
  • 3 million amputees in United States, estimated
  • #1 cause – vascular
  • 50% of vascular amputations are caused by Diabetes
  • 80% of diabetic amputations are over 50 years old
  • Majority of Diabetic amputations are preventable
  • 50% of all amputations never had an angiogram (an X-ray test that uses a special dye and camera (fluoroscopy) to take pictures of the blood flow in an artery) An angiogram can find a bulge in a blood vessel (aneurysm). It can also show narrowing or a blockage in a blood vessel that affects blood flow. An angiogram can show if coronary artery disease is present and how bad it is.

Steps to take

  1. Call to schedule a consultation: During your consultation you will be able to ask questions and have your questions answered by a medical professional. This step will help you make an informed decision for your treatment options. Call 727-475-4039
  2. Day of consultation: Please arrive 20 minutes before your appointment to fill out necessary paperwork and a health questionnaire. Bring any patient history such as previous ultrasound imaging and notes from your primary care doctor (if you have any). During your consultation you will be evaluated based on symptoms and be able to ask questions plus get knowledgeable information to help you make an informed and educated decision on vascular disease treatment and care.
  3. Return for Ultrasound: If you have not already had diagnostic image testing done, you will return for an Ultrasound and ABI (Ankle Brachial Index, a test to measure the blood pressure in your legs). This test will provide us with the knowledge on which treatment if any needs to be applied.
  4. The day of your procedure: Please arrive 20 minutes before your appointment time to fill out additional paperwork and to go over simple instructions for your return home. The minimally invasive treatments offered here at Coastal Vascular Specialists are same day procedures, so you will be returning home that day. Please be sure to have someone with you. This person will be given a prescription for pain management if necessary.


There are nearly 2 million people living with limb loss in the United States (1).

Among those living with limb loss, the main causes are vascular disease (54%) – including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease – trauma (45%) and cancer (less than 2%) (1).

Approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year (2).

In 2009, hospital costs associated with amputation totaled more than $8.3 billion (3)

African‐Americans are up to four times more likely to have an amputation than white Americans (4)

Nearly half of the individuals who have an amputation due to vascular disease will die within 5 years. This is higher than the five year mortality rates for breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer (5)

Of persons with diabetes who have a lower extremity amputation, up to 55% will require amputation of the second leg within 2‐3 years (6)

  1. Ziegler‐Graham K, MacKenzie EJ, Ephraim PL, Travison TG, Brookmeyer R. Estimating the Prevalence of Limb Loss in the United States: 2005 to 2050. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation2008;89(3):422‐9.
  2. Owings M, Kozak LJ, National Center for Health S. Ambulatory and Inpatient Procedures in the United States, 1996. Hyattsville, Md.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics; 1998.
  3. HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2009.
  4. Fisher ES, Goodman DC, Chandra A. Disparities in Health and Health Care among Medicare Beneficiaries: A Brief Report of the Dartmouth Atlas Project. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation2008.
  5. Robbins JM, Strauss G, Aron D, Long J, Kuba J, Kaplan Y. Mortality Rates and Diabetic Foot Ulcers. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association2008 November 1, 2008;98(6):489‐93.
  6. Pandian G, Hamid F, Hammond M. Rehabilitation of the Patient with Peripheral Vascular Disease and Diabetic Foot Problems. In: DeLisa JA, Gans BM, editors. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven; 1998.

5 steps to amputation prevention

detailed (LEAP) Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention program below

  • Annual Foot Screening
  • Educate Yourself
  • Daily Self Inspections
  • Footwear Selection
  • Management of Simple Foot Problems

We are one of only a few Vascular and Interventional Outpatient facilities nationwide and one of the first and most advanced in Florida  to offer the expertise of on-site vascular experts in limb salvage and wound management in a state-of-the-art setting. At the Coastal Vascular Specialists Amputation Prevention Center, you will be actively involved in the treatment plan for your care. Our outcomes attest to the success of our treatment methods at the Amputation Prevention Center: View this link which shows a case study of a patient who had a non-healing ulcer caused by blockage Amputation Prevention Case Study

  • We can prevent an amputation in most circumstances
  • Our advanced therapy heals most wounds in a timely fashion

Preserving a limb at risk requires an innovative team approach. At the CVS Amputation Prevention Center, you will receive care from vascular specialists focused on preserving limbs, restoring function, healing wounds, and returning you to the life you deserve. Our modern facility is designed especially to accommodate anyone with limited mobility — making it easier for you to obtain the leading-edge treatment that can help heal wounds, save limbs, and enhance your quality of life. 

Conveniently located in the center of the Tampa Bay Area at 2730 N McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater Florida, we provide access to stellar emergency care services and surgical suites that are fully equipped with the latest technology and instruments to perform a wide range of limb-saving procedures. 

Contact us today for answers to your questions and to learn about the treatment options available to you. 727-475-4039

Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention (LEAP) is a comprehensive program that can dramatically reduce lower extremity amputations in individuals with Hansen’s disease or any condition that results in loss of protective sensation in the feet. LEAP was developed at the U.S. Department of (HRSA) Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration National Hansen’s Disease Program in 1992.

The Five-Step LEAP Program

  1. Annual Foot Screening The foundation of this prevention program is a foot screening that identifies those patients who have lost protective sensation. The initial plantar ulcer usually results from an injury to a foot that has lost sensation. In the absence of protective sensation, even normal walking can result in such injuries.The LEAP Foot Screen uses a 5.07 monofilament, which delivers 10 grams of force, to identify patients with a foot AT RISK of developing problems. An initial foot screen should be performed on all patients at diagnosis and at least annually thereafter. Patients who are at risk should be seen at least four times a year to check their feet and shoes to help prevent foot problems from occurring.
  2. Patient Education Teaching the patient self-management skills is the second component of the LEAP Program. Once taught simple self-management techniques, the patient assumes personal responsibility and becomes a full partner with the health care team in preventing foot problems.
  3. Daily Self-Inspection Daily self-inspection is an integral part of the self-management program. Every individual who has lost protective sensation must regularly and properly examine his/her feet on a daily basis. Studies have shown that daily self-inspection is the single most effective way to protect feet in the absence of the pain warning system.Early detection of foot injuries (blister, redness, or swelling), callus or toe nail problems (thick, tender, long, or discolored) is necessary to prevent potentially more serious problems. Some problems should be reported immediately to a health care provider while the patient can manage others if he/she has been taught simple, basic self-management techniques.
  4. Footwear Selection Shoes, like feet, come in a variety of styles and shapes. A person with normal sensation in his/her feet can wear almost any shoe style with little risk of injury. If the patient has lost protective sensation, poorly designed or improperly fitting shoes can seriously complicate the condition of the feet. Once a patient has lost protective sensation, he/she should never walk barefoot, even around the house. The patient should never wear narrow toe shoes or boots, heeled shoes, shoes with vinyl tops, thongs or any shoe that is too loose or too tight. This person will need special assistance in selecting the appropriate style and fit of shoes.The shoe should fit the shape of the foot. There should be at least ½ inch between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. In a properly fitting shoe, a small amount of leather can be pinched up. The patient, the family and the health care team need to recognize that wearing appropriately styled shoes that fit can prevent most foot problems.
  5. Management of Simple Foot Problems visit a vascular specialist if you have any symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

    In addition to causing loss of protective sensation, neuropathy can also affect the autonomic nerves in the foot and lead to dry cracked skin, increasing the probability of foot injuries and wounds.

    This prevention program emphasizes the importance of reporting all injuries to the health care provider.

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