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Overview of Limb Salvage Surgery

Limbs are used in everyday activities especially because one needs to move around. Injuries are common occurrences which affect all parts of the body. When injuries occur, there are a number of procedures meant for different parts of the body. Limb salvage surgery is a procedure performed to avoid amputation by removing bone and soft tissue cancer occurring in limbs and replacing them with similar body parts or with a metallic prosthesis (implant).

Limb salvage surgery is done in three stages. When the surgery is performed, they remove the cancer and a portion of the enveloping healthy tissue, then a bone graft or prosthesis is implanted and the wound is closed by transferring soft tissue and muscle from other parts of the body to the surgical part.

The factors which determine whether one qualifies for limb salvage surgery is the type of cancer that one has, it also depends on the location of the tumor, the extent of the illness that is how far the disease has progressed, the size and location of the cancerous tumor, the patient’s age and the general health of the patient. Both bone and soft-tissue sarcomas are treated using this procedure. The surgery removes the tumor, the tissues where the cancer has spread, the lymph nodes and some part of the healthy tissue on all sides of the tumor.

When surgeons remove a malignant lesion and a smaller cuff of normal tissue to cure low grade bone tumor this is called a wide excision. For more aggressive tumors, muscle, bones or an entire compartment is removed which is called a radical resection. It is good to note that before or after surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be performed. During the surgery itself, radiation may be carried out by inserting radioactive pellets via tubes on the area where the tumor bed was. The tubes remain after surgery so that daily radioactive pellets can be inserted and are removed weeks later.

Limb salvage surgery aims to restore a patient’s health without changing their appearance and preserving their dignity. This medical procedure gives the greatest assurance of the functionality of the affected limb. This has been a remedy to amputation and has been greatly adapted.

To do this, cutting edge medical technology is needed as well as modern treatment techniques. For limb salvage procedures on limbs and elbows, there should be a trained medical personnel who will perform the surgery successfully. There needs to be a rehabilitation strategy for the healing process. The patient should be able to recuperate with comfort and relaxation. These procedures have already been performed at BJIOS Orthopaedics and Farrer Park Hospital. The BJIOS team is good at their job in orthopedics and there are radiation and medical oncologists in the Centre as well. The latest in imaging like PET-CT scan and linear accelerator for targeted beam radiation are operational in Farrer Park Hospital. In-house, BJIOS has its own imaging facilities which can identify problems and plan surgeries.There is a day surgery services with highly qualified medical staff, a recovery suite and physiotherapy centre which can be used for rehabilitation…a one-stop centre for successful limb salvage surgery.

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