What methods of diabetic foot gangrene treatment are available?
One of the primary steps of diabetic foot gangrene treatment is the removal of infected or dead tissue. This may be done via traditional surgery or a technique called larval debridement therapy. This method utilizes laboratory-bred maggots that do not reproduce and feed on dead tissue alone.
The next step is to treat or curb infection. Doctors may prescribe a course of antibiotics.
Surgery may be necessary to restore flow in the blood vessels.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may also be used. In this case, the affected area is sealed in a high pressure oxygen chamber. The high oxygen levels promote circulation and may help heal dying tissue. High oxygen levels could also reduce bacterial growth.
What complications could arise?
If treatment does not work, amputation of the foot may be needed to contain the infection. Sepsis may also occur if gangrene spreads.
When should I see a doctor?
See a healthcare provider if any of the following occur:
- Fever that does not break
- Skin changes that do not fade
- There is discharge from a sore/wound
- Skin turns cold, hard, and numb
- There is pain at the site of surgery or trauma
How can I prevent gangrene?
Diabetics need to monitor their blood sugar levels and maintain them in the normal range. They may also make it a habit to check their feet and legs for injury, quit smoking, avoid alcohol, eat healthfully, and exercise regularly.
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