Buerger’s disease is a serious disorder caused by the blockage of the small and medium-scale arteries and the vena due to smoking. The veins are clogged with an inflamed clot and the blood flow to the fingers is reduced. This vascular problem continues as long as smoking exists in your life. Over time it takes your fingers, your hands, your feet and your legs under its influence and severe inflammation occurs. These deep wounds, due to infection, gradually turn into gangrene and they cause the loss of a limb if the patient does not quit smoking. In more than one quarter of patients, the foot or legs come to the phase of being cut. Buerger’s disease manifests itself between the ages of 20 and 40. Unfortunately today, however, we see that the age range has descended to the ages 16-17. The disease which was known as male disease in general, has started to be observed in females as well during the recent years.
It Also Affects The Passive Smoker.
Buerger’s disease is due to smoking. However, people who are exposed to intense cigarette smoke who are called passive smokers are also at risk. Because actually this illness is an allergy related to the use of cigarettes… It’s not seen among everyone but if you have an allergic leaning, the smoking areas affect you and paves way to this disease even if you yourself are not smoking.
No Painkillers Relieve Your Pain
While this disease is more common in the feet it can also be seen in the hands. Since it holds the capillary vessels inflammated and infections usually manifest on the nails. In general, the common history of Buerger’s patients is seen as a nail extraction and subsequent lack of healing of the wound. Wounds occur under the fingernails or on the fingers. The nail develops fungus or the patient hits their foot to someplace one day and the wound on their feet never recovers. As the wounds grow, infection and bruises occur. Most of the patients have a sense of cold and numbness related to their limbs. Most of the time, the fingers are red but icy. The pain that begins with walking becomes permanent over time and unbearable pain occurs even when the patient is resting. These wounds that do not heal in any way and occur because of simple reasons gradually turn into gangrene. Patients experience pain so severe that, over time, no painkillers can alleviate their situation.
The Importance of Minimally Invasive Vascular Surgery in Buerger’s Disease
The most important step in the treatment of Buerger’s patients is to quit smoking. Other treatments will not help if they do not avoid smoking. They have no definite chance of recovery in medical treatments. In people who quit smoking, the risk of amputation (the cutting of tissue and limb) is very low. When smoking is not quitted the wounds do not heal, they open again and a lot of amputations may be necessary. In very few patients who have this disease the veins are suitable for bypass surgery. However, in many patients, the disease does not respond to treatment and an amputation decision is made. We apply the minimally invasive vascular surgery method which we use in vascular diseases to appropriate Buerger patients as well. We bypass the area with local anesthesia and tiny cuts. After the surgery that is approximately completed in an hour we take the patient to the normal room without having them go to the intensive care unit. We walk them the next day and release them from the hospital in two days. In some patients, there might be some losses of the limb. But we can save the limb where gangrene have been developed.
If you start smoking even after 30 years, the disease will repeat.
When we say that “stop smoking to get rid of this disease completely” we are not telling you to quit just for a while. This is a very important issue… we say, “clean it from your life style completely, forget it.” Because if you go back to your old habits after 30 years or 50 years, your old disease will come back to you as well.