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The High Price of Diabetes in America

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes. Another 86 million have prediabetes. It is a serious healthcare epidemic that has many far-reaching implications.

Each day, 3,835 Americans are newly diagnosed with the life-threatening disease and a full 200 Americans will undergo an amputation each day as well.

The financial impact of diabetes is no less staggering. One out of every five health care dollars in America is spent on caring for people with diabetes. And one out of every THREE medicare dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes.

People with diabetes are far more likely to have a foot or leg amputated than other people. Why?

Many diabetic individuals have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which reduces blood flow to the feet. Also, many people with diabetes have nerve disease, which reduces sensation. Together, these problems make it easy to get ulcers and infections that may lead to amputation.

However, most amputations are preventable with regular care and proper footwear. For these reasons, if you have diabetes, you should take good care of your feet and see your healthcare provider right away if you are experiencing:   

  • Neuropathy – nerve damage that can lessen your ability to feel pain, heat and cold
  • Skin changes – diabetics often experience dry and cracking skin on their feet
  • Calluses – they occur more often and build up faster on the feet of people with diabetes. Left untreated, they can develop into ulcers (open sores).
  • Foot ulcers – occur most often on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the big toe. If you have diabetes, every ulcer should be seen by a healthcare provider because neglecting ulcers can result in infections, which in turn can lead to amputation.
  • Poor circulation – poor blood flow can make your foot less able to fight infection and to heal.

If you are facing amputation, you are not out of options. Get a second opinion.

A second opinion from a specialist such as Lam Vascular and Associates can provide you the peace of mind knowing that you are choosing the ideal treatment option for your specific needs.

This is why Dr. Lam created the Lam Vascular Second Opinion Program. This unique program is designed to help you fully understand your options, and with guidance from Dr. Lam and our team of specialists, choose the right treatment plan or procedure for you.

Many vascular centers specialize in a specific subset of procedures. At Lam Vascular, our goal is to provide you a range of treatment options and partner with you to help you decide which treatment or therapy is ideal for your specific situation.

Having performed over 10,000 complex peripheral interventions, Dr. Lam is credited with preventing thousands of leg amputations. Many of these interventions have been the result of patients who sought a second opinion after being told their conditions are inoperable or not treatable with medical therapies.

We invite patients to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lam for an in-office second opinion evaluation. Our coordinator will help you in gathering the necessary information and medical records before your initial visit.


The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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