Jump to content
Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Sign in to follow this  
nicoler

Cosmetic covers in US?

Recommended Posts

I'm no professional, but I had the opportunity to visit with the Director of a Local Hospital Institute. We started talking about new programs at the Hospital and facial prostetics came up during our conversation. Being an ABA , I was curious to know why their are so few companies in the US that specialize in cosmetic coverings, this is a summary of his answer:

In Britain, Doctors are generally payed the same amount while in the US, they are payed for surgery and patient care. Don't get me wrong here! That simply means that US doctors will go to great lengths to same the limb, before opting for amputation. In Britain, their prostetics are more advanced and often provide a better option than surgery. So, that is why the US isn't as advanced in prostetics as Great Britain, we don't have as great a demand.

Nicole

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may not know much, being pretty new to this deal, but I have heard several prosthetists say that we CAN get prosthesis as good as anything they have overseas. They all took offense to heathers comment on larry king that there are not the same options available in the US. They said you just have to be an active prosthetist, and GET them for your patients.

NOW, the real issue I would like explored...is the whole idea that docs here drag their feet about amputation. That has been MY huge battle the last ten years. I dont know a thing about docs anywhere else, but I know HERE I have been down a long road, fighting all kinds of orthopedic docs. I have needed the amputation I will be getting in two weeks, for about ten years now...if not longer...and EVERY doc wanted to try something ELSE first. NONE would talk to me about amputation until recently. They did not care that my mobility was deteriorating. The first thing they would say was, "you dont have infection raging in that foot that we cant get control of....you still have a pulse in that foot, we cant cut it off." Forget that I have dwindling quality of life.

I kept getting so mad, reading about all the active things amputees can do, that I cant. Even simple things, like going thru a whole day, doing regular chores, and not being exhausted by mid afternoon because I was dragging around this lame leg that didnt participate when I walk. It is a deformed foot so bottom line is, there is no surgery that is going to help it anymore. Most have just set me back more.

I had been told my my most recent surgeon, the one who DOES understand and is excited about the new life I will get with a prosthetic, that doctors are trained SO long with the mentality that you save the leg, no matter WHAT, and it is failure if you have to amputate, that they cant see the patients side. I was literally told by a doc last year that I would have to have recurring infections, basically end up on crutches most of the year, before they would think about amputating. The fact that I can barely get around on this deformed foot and weak leg meant nothing to him.

I think part of it is training, for them, and part IS that they just dont realize how great the prosthetics are today. The technology and advancements have come quickly in the past five to ten years, and they just need to be SHOWN how great an amputees life can be, and then reminded that THIS is better than surgery after surgery to make THEM feel better....

What are other peoples thoughts on this? I know there are many people on this site who had injuries that would not heal, which led them to amputation. Did your docs tell you it was a good option, or a 'failure'? I think we all need to change how docs think in the US!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all I agree with Judy where did one get the information that US prosthetics are so bad? I have seen so many advancements in prosthetics in the last 10 to 15 years that say otherwise. I think it's a matter of finding a prosthetist that makes state of the Art limbs like mine does. No my leg is not cosmetically pleasing but that's because I chose not to have a cover made for it. I chose to leave it as bionic looking as possible because I had legs that looked like legs and decided that I wanted the technology components that you couldn't put a cover on but that was my choice nobody elses.

My two cents on the reason docs won't amputate is because they see amputation as a failure so they go to great lenghts to save a limb that is probably not saveable so they don't have to think they failed the patient. I have a friend that this happened to and after a year of trying to save the foot finally had the ampuation done why because it was not saveable.

Brenda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding my opinion on the amputation thing. I was the one who brought up the idea of amputation to my doctor. I had never had anyone talk about it to me. My original doctor had no problem with it, saying that sometimes they go to great lengths to save limbs without putting enough thought into the consequences that will need to be dealt with later on. I did go to 2 other specialists to get more opinions. Both disagreed with me. They felt that since I had 10 wiggling toes I should keep what I had.

After the amputation, my doctor dissected my foot and found that it was almost totally without any cartiledge(sp?) so I would have just kept having more surgeries and more pain. It was a justification for me that I could share with the other doctors showing that I knew what I was talking about. It was a good moment and I keep getting signs of it being the right decision (not that I could do anything now to change it!) every day that I get stronger and can walk with no pain.

I had surgery in August and now am using a cane. Things are progressing slowly but surely. I'm getting a bit impatient to be without the cane, but don't feel steady enough yet.

Anyway, I think that a lot of doctors don't consider amputation because they are taught to save limbs at just about all costs. I don't think it needs to be that today with all the advances with prosthesis.

Carol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×