St. Louis Doctor Helps Patients Avoid Unnecessary Diabetic Amputations Using Minimally Invasive Procedure

ST. LOUIS, May 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT) is leading the way in providing early diagnosis and innovative treatments for St. Louis, Missouri, patients who suffer from vascular disease, greatly reducing the need for amputations.

Led by Dr. Goke Akinwande, a board-certified endovascular specialist, the Vascular Center at MINT is one of the few centers in St. Louis dedicated to the outpatient treatment of venous and arterial diseases. Since the Center opened in 2019, MINT has become a regional leader in preventing potentially life-threatening amputations among patients who suffer from diabetes. Dr. Akinwande and his team use innovative technology and non-surgical techniques to treat diabetic sores and prevent amputations. 

Data from the Amputee Coalition shows that nearly 4,000 amputations were performed in Missouri in 2014 alone, with most amputations performed on older male patients.  

“We were aggressive with our outreach initiatives because we understand the urgency of this problem,” said Akinwande. “The rates of diabetes and obesity keep rising, and it goes hand in hand with the rates of diabetic amputations. If we don’t act fast, we will lose a lot of limbs and a lot of lives.”

Most amputations performed in Missouri are the result of a condition known as critical limb ischemia (CLI), often referred to as “poor circulation.” CLI is an advanced form of PAD. 

PAD is a complication of diabetes that causes the arteries in the legs to narrow, leading to pain, tingling, numbness, and difficulty walking. As PAD advances, it can quickly lead to wounds and sores on the feet that risk becoming infected and requiring amputation. Risk factors, such as long-term smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol can worsen PAD symptoms and make amputation more likely to be necessary.

In Missouri, rates of adult smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity are higher than the national average, according to data reported in the 2021 County Health Rankings Report.

The rate of patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes is also continuing to rise in Missouri, making it important for local medical professionals to provide people with access to proper screening and care. Convenient and affordable access to care can greatly help prevent amputations related to diabetes and PAD.

In response to this growing medical concern, the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy is leading the way in the fight against preventable amputations in Missouri residents who suffer from peripheral vascular disease. Dr. Akinwande and the team of professionals at MINT are using minimally invasive treatment techniques to address PAD symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients. If caught early, patients can successfully avoid amputations and more invasive procedures down the road.

“This is a health care epidemic that is just as bad as the COVID pandemic,” continued Akinwande. “My issue with this condition is that there are options and ways to prevent amputations, but patients don’t know their options. Opening up blood vessels improves leg pain, but if a patient has a footsore, it can heal the wound faster. If you have a wound that has not healed for several weeks or months, I recommend those people get a second opinion.”

Dr. Akinwande and the team at MINT have also spent much of their time and resources raising awareness through grassroots efforts and community initiatives at local and national levels.

Dr. Akinwande’s minimally invasive procedure involves making a small incision to access a blood vessel. A small laser is then used to shave harmful plaque from the vessel. Then, a balloon or stent is inserted to open the artery and improve blood flow to the legs. The entire procedure takes about one hour to complete. At MINT, all procedures are done at the clinic and patients get to go home the same day. 

It’s important to promptly seek medical attention as soon as any foot sores or ulcers develop. Dr. Akinwande encourages people to get screened as early as possible for PAD, which is why he offers free screenings five days a week at MINT.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people with PAD may have mild or no symptoms or discomfort that is triggered by activity.

Common symptoms of peripheral vascular disease include:

  • Muscle cramps in hips, thighs or calves after physical activity
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in lower leg or foot, usually focused to one side
  • Sores on toes, feet or legs that don’t heal on their own
  • Skin discoloration in legs
  • Hair loss or slower leg hair growth

About the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT)

The Vascular Center at MINT is St. Louis’ first and only outpatient center dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of venous and arterial disease. The center specializes in complex arterial reconstruction including tibioperoneal and pedal loop reconstruction, as well as improving wound healing in diabetic patients. The Vascular Center also has a comprehensive practice that treats venous disorders. Treatments at MINT are performed exclusively by Dr. Goke Akinwande. For more information, visit www.mintstl.com.

Related Images

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Dr. Akinwande

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SOURCE Midwest Institute for Nonsurgical Therapy

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