A member asked:

Can leg amputations ever be fatal?

14 doctors weighed in across 4 answers
Dr. Oliver Aalami answered

Specializes in Vascular Surgery

Yes: Yes, amputations can be fatal, but it all depends on why you are having the amputation. If you are elderly and i'll with diabetes and severe vascular disease, the amputation will be risky. If you are a young soldier who injured your leg, then the actual amputation procedure is less of a risk. Needing an amputation because of a bad leg infection or gangrene is a marker for bad heart disease.

Answered 10/4/2016

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Dr. Shane Parmer answered

Specializes in Vascular Surgery

Indirectly: While amputating a limb can be lifesaving depending on the reasons for doing the amputation, complications including death can occur. Often these are surgeries of last choice and are being performed on patients at very high risk or who may be in extremis. Because of these reasons, this surgery which is often very well tolerated, can be fatal.

Answered 3/31/2016

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Dr. Khashayar Salartash answered

Specializes in Vascular Surgery

DVT/PE: Thw amputation itself should not be life threatening but a complication such as a DVT or a pulmonary embolus can be.

Answered 9/28/2016

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Dr. David Wilson answered

Specializes in Vascular Surgery

Yes: Patients without trauma or tumors who need a major amputation typically have heart disease, diabetes, infection and other life- threatening medical issues. Because of these problems, amputation mortality rates are among the highest in the hospital.

Answered 3/16/2017

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