Diabetes remains the seventh-leading cause of death in Bexar County and for many of those with the disease complications can often lead to the loss of limbs; Over 2,000 lower-limb amputations occur annually. In an effort to mitigate the numbers of limbs lost to the disease, a six-person multidisciplinary team of specialists and physicians work meet for the Preserving Ambulations and Limb Salvage clinic (PALS).
PALS comes together once a month on the third floor of the UT Health Medical Arts and Research Center to treat diabetic patients with a group approach. The team consists of an interventional cardiologist, vascular and orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, and prosthetists led by Thomas Zgonis, M.D.
According to Dr. Zgonis, "We are losing legs on a daily basis in San Antonio. One of the biggest reasons for diabetic amputations is the delay of treatment. [The clinic] sees patients who in any other health care system will go to appointments at different clinics on many different days for weeks, sometimes months."
Dr. Zgonis also advocates for more diabetes wellness centers where patients can see a range of doctors to approach their diabetes from various medical perspectives. This is crucial as the cost of caring for patients with Type 2 diabetes, has risen from $245 billion in 2012 to $327 billion in 2017, according to the American Diabetes Situation.
Read the full story from the Rivard Report.
Source: Rivard Report