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Vascular Surgery

Post surgical severe lower leg edema

05/19/2008

Question:

One year ago my 59 year old father-in-law experienced sudden extreme pain and numbness in his lower right leg. After making rounds to various specialists over the course of several months it was determined that he had poor circulation and he underwent surgery to correct it. They used one of his own veins to repair the restriction.

Six months post surgery his situation is worse instead of better. His lower leg is now extremely red and swollen below the knee. Even slight pressure leaves a noticeable dent in the skin that takes a long time to fade. He has an open sore on the heel that will not heal. He has been to cardiologists, neurologists, podiatrists, etc all with no resolution or treatment. He has had to quit his job and the insurance company suggested he file for disability and his primary care physician doesn`t have any new ideas.

Clearly there is an underlying cause, but all his blood work has come back good. He just had the circulation checked again via ultrasound/doppler and apparently it looked fine. This obviously isn`t enough information to make a diagnosis, but where should we go next? It has been a tremendous emotional drain on him and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

You don't ever mention that you've seen a vascular surgeon. Make sure it's a board-certified vascular surgeon and not just a general surgeon. Good luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated