Second Opinion Saves Man From Double Amputation!!

It started with a blister on his big toe. Unbeknownst to Reynaldo Reyna, it was the sign of something bigger. But Reyna is a roof inspector. He spends his days walking buildings and warehouses in North Texas and across the country.

To him it was just a blister that wouldn’t go away, he said.

“I’ve had a lot of problems with my legs for a long time,” he said, “I just worked until I got tired, then I would get right up again. I thought I could just work around it.”

After about a month of discomfort, he went to the doctor, who referred him to a specialist in Fort Worth. After undergoing an angiogram, an X-ray of blood flow, the doctor said they would have to amputate his leg. At that point, Reynes was poorly controlling his diabetes and his chronic myopathy. This neglect resulted in total artery blockage in his right leg arteries, from his knee down to his right foot.

An amputation meant the end of Reyna’s career, his livelihood, his quality of life.

At this point, Reyna’s blister had escalated into an open wound. He was referred to the Wound Care Center at Texas Health Plano, where he was referred to Dr. Vijay Ramanath for Second Opinion.

As an intraventricular cardiologist, Ramanath’s specialty is clearing clogged arteries. In his career, he’s seen patients just like Reyna with 100 percent blockages in their arteries, and his solution wasn’t amputation.

“He was willing to take the risk,” Reyna said.

To fix a blocked artery, doctors must carefully drill through the plaque built up to create a pathway for blood to flow.

“We basically had to recreate the whole artery for him, which, fortunately, we were able to do and restore blood flow to his heel,” he said.

To Ramanath, it was simply a challenge he’d faced before and conquered. Thanks to Reyna’s young age – anything below 75 in the medical world is young – Ramanath said his arteries were in solid shape for surgery.

“Fortunately for Reyna, since he’s south of 60, he hasn’t had as much time for all this blockage to form,” he said. “So because of that, it didn’t put up as much of a fight.”

It took two procedures, but Ramanath was able to clear the blockages. The blockage did cost Reyna his big toe, but he’s still able to walk his roofs and do his work.

As the leader of the hospital’s Limb Salvage Program, Ramanath said he and doctors like him work to help cases like Reyna, “to get back people’s lives, especially those who have young families, that have full-time jobs. We want them to get back to their way of life.”

Since the surgery, Reyna said he’s completely turn around his lifestyle. He eats better and exercises regularly and he’s keeping his diabetes under control.

“The biggest lesson here was that diabetes is serious,” he said. “You need to take care of yourself. The bottom line: If you do what the doctor says, you exercise and eat right, live right, then you’ll be alright.”


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