Major Lower Limb Amputation: Outcomes are Improving

David A Kelly, Stephanie Pedersen, Patrik Tosenovsky, Kishore Sieunarine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Outcomes following major lower limb amputation (MLLA) between 2000 and 2002 from the Department of Vascular Surgery at Royal Perth Hospital have been published; mean postoperative length of stay 20 days, inpatient complication rate 54%, and 30-day mortality 10%. The last decade has seen increasing endovascular revascularization techniques, increased focus on MLLA patients, and general improvements in the model of care. The aim of this study is to compare outcomes between 2000-2002 and 2010-2012.

METHODS: Data on all patients undergoing MLLA, transtibial or proximal, in the 2 time periods were extracted from the department of vascular surgery database. Medical records, government registries, and phone calls to primary care providers were used to clarify mortality.

RESULTS: Limb ischemia remains the most common indication for MLLA with smoking, hypertension, and diabetes being the main comorbid diseases. The rates of wound infections have fallen from 26.4% to 12.4% (P = 0.023), rate of admission to ICU has fallen from 48.3% to 17.5% (P = 0.001), and revision amputation to a higher level has fallen from 11.5% to 7.2% (P = 0.043). Acute hospital, postoperative length of stay has trended down from 15.74 to 20.29 days (P = 0.075). Mortality overall has fallen from 60.92% to 46.39% (P = 0.049). Thirty-day mortality fallen from 10.34% to 5.15% (P = 0.185), 6-month 28.76% to 16.5% (P = 0.046), and 1-year 40.22% to 21.65% (P = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients undergoing MLLA still carry a high burden of comorbid disease. With changes in revascularization technique, consultant supervision, and multidisciplinary model of care, we have seen the rate of complications fall, length of stay trend down, and overall mortality reduce. Despite improvements, outcomes remain sobering and more can be done.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of vascular surgery
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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