What is an amputation? How should children be informed about amputation?


Whatever the reason, losing a limb is never easy. amputation it can negatively affect a person both morally and physically; inevitably changes his life and the lives of his loved ones. While not easy, life after an amputation is simply a matter of finding a “new order, a new normal.” It’s only natural that this whole process feels intimidating, especially for new amputees. However, it is important to remember that no one goes through an amputation alone. It should not be forgotten that there are various resources aimed at helping with everything from preoperative diagnosis to lifelong peer support programs.

amputation Most of us lack knowledge about this. If we learn as much as we can about this topic, it could assuage our personal fears as well as raise awareness to help our loved ones who have had an amputation.

Important warning: In addition to experiencing and talking about the amputation, which is extremely difficult in terms of process, reading the content can be challenging and triggering. We recommend that you consider this situation.

What is amputation and why is it done?

Amputation is the surgical removal of all or part of a limb or limb, such as an arm, leg, foot, hand, toe, or finger. There are many different reasons why an amputation may be needed. The most common of these is poor circulation due to damage or narrowing of the arteries, called peripheral arterial disease. Without adequate blood flow, the body’s cells cannot get the oxygen and nutrients they need from the bloodstream. As a result, the affected tissue begins to die and infection may begin. Other reasons for amputation may include:

  • Serious injury (such as from a car accident or severe burns)
  • Cancer in the bones or muscles of the limbs
  • Serious infections that are not cured by antibiotics or other treatments.
  • A thickening of nerve tissue called a neuroma
  • Freezing

How is the amputation procedure carried out?

An amputation usually requires a hospital stay of 5 to 14 days or more, depending on the operation and complications. The procedure itself may vary depending on the amputated limb or limb and the general health of the patient. The corresponding operation can be performed under general anesthesia or with spinal anesthesia, in which the body goes numb from the waist down. In amputation surgery, the surgeon removes all damaged tissue, leaving as much healthy tissue as possible. After the operation, there is a period of physical and mental recovery.

Recovery after amputationdepends on the type of surgery and the anesthesia used. The doctor prescribes various medications to relieve pain and prevent infection. If the patient is experiencing “phantom pain” (feeling pain in the amputated limb) or emotional problems, the doctor will prescribe medication or counseling as needed.

After surgery, physiotherapy begins with light stretching exercises. The use of the prosthesis can usually be started 10-14 days after the operation. Ideally, the surgical wound is expected to be completely healed in about 4-8 weeks. But of course, the physical and emotional adjustment to the loss of a limb can be a lengthy process. Long-term recovery and rehabilitation after amputation will include:

  • Exercises to Improve Muscle Strength and Control
  • Activities to help restore the ability to perform daily activities and develop independence
  • Use of prostheses and assistive devices
  • Emotional support, including counseling, to help adjust to grief from loss of limbs and new body image

How to Cope with the Emotional Problems of an Amputation

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the emotional consequences of an amputation are naturally exhausting and difficult. There is no wrong way to handle this situation. Grief, anger, depression; All this is absolutely correct and normal. It is important how to deal with these feelings. Here are some of the healthy coping strategies for amputees:

  • Recognize and acknowledge your feelings: Whatever your feelings, including negative ones, don’t ignore them. Accepting good and bad feelings is the first step to dealing with them.
  • Focus on the journey: There is no fixed recovery time after amputation. This is individual for everyone and can take years. Emotional recovery is often a lifelong task, so learn to appreciate your progress instead of focusing on the end goal. Remember that every small step is a progress worth celebrating.
  • Find a target: Whether it’s a spiritual activity or just fun, try to find something that excites you to wake you up in the morning. Some people enjoy volunteering for organizations that help amputees, while others take up hobbies to master them. Whatever your goal is, make sure it makes you happy to be alive and working to be a better person.
  • Learn to think about yourself in a new way: Instead of focusing on what you can no longer do, try focusing on new things that you can still do and have learned to do after the amputation.
  • Talk to other amputees: No matter how well-intentioned they may be for loved ones and the professionals helping you through your recovery, they won’t be able to fully understand how you’re feeling unless they themselves amputate. That’s why amputee support groups can create a space where you can really feel understood.

Important note: All information and recommendations in this article are based on scientifically sound articles prepared for general informational purposes and do not contain expert advice. The content of the page does not include elements containing information about therapeutic medical care. See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Another important issue: informing the child before amputation

We know that earthquake survivors were treated in hospitals. During treatment, decisions may be made to amputate to protect the health of some adults and children. Of great importance is how to inform children about this process. Citizens Coordinating Group for Disaster Management and Children, Survivors and with a child requiring amputation during treatment prepared a detailed document on this topic for those who will speak. According to this;

  1. First, be aware of your own emotions. This situation can be very sad and unexpected for any person. It will be more helpful to move forward by being aware of your emotions and knowing that those emotions are natural, rather than expecting you to not be sad or afraid. Children are like experts at understanding emotions. Your facial expression and tone of voice can sometimes take precedence over words for them. Therefore, how you provide information is just as important as the information you provide.
  2. You can both get information about the process yourself, and convey the correct information to the child in accordance with his age.
  3. Providing information does not mean telling everything down to the smallest detail. You can give concise, clear, and precise information and then proceed according to the child’s questions.
  4. Children’s “Will it hurt?, Will it hurt?” there may be such concerns. Although the answer to these questions is not clear, you can communicate that healthcare professionals will do their best to not feel pain.
  5. Children may state that they are afraid, both before and after surgery. Here you can also give information that it is natural to feel fear, instead of telling them not to be afraid.
  6. Children, like adults, may wonder why they themselves are experiencing this situation. “Why me?” “Why my child?” requests such as Especially for preschoolers, this is what they do.
    or did something wrong.
  7. Providing information about the future will prepare the child and provide him with an opportunity to express possible concerns.
  8. Symptoms such as anger, depression and introversion can be seen in children and young/adolescent age groups. In such cases, you must be as patient and inclusive as possible. You should not use methods such as giving advice, offering solutions, trying to cheer or distract him. Your priority should be to understand the child’s feelings and make the child feel understood. The loss of a limb carries the risk of loss and the process of “mourning” a person, regardless of age. Since each person’s response to the law and its severity can be different, it is important to provide appropriate support, one-to-one conversations and psychological support when needed.

For more details, you can access the entire document here.

Sources: webmd, pamhealth, beaconpo, we care.org

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