NYU Langone vascular surgeon's discovery saves Brooklyn man's foot

When Jose Palacios arrived to the operating room at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn last March, he thought he might never walk again. The infection in his foot had gotten so bad his doctor told him amputation may be necessary. But when the surgery was over, he could hardly believe his eyes.

"I figured when I woke up, I would have no foot," says Palacios, who had suffered complications related to Type 2 diabetes. "So when I looked over and saw my foot, I thought, 'Wait a minute, am I dreaming?'"

The Brooklyn native credits his surgeon at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn, Sheila Blumberg, MD, with saving his foot and putting him back on a path to wellness. "An event like that changes your whole perspective on life," says Palacios.

Blumberg, a board-certified vascular surgeon, says Palacios was experiencing septic shock when he first arrived to the hospital's Emergency Department. He had developed a severe infection because of diabetic foot ulcers.

While Palacios' outside doctor told him the foot was unsalvageable, Blumberg was able to uncover the underlying issue and reverse his fortune. "He had deteriorated so much because he not only had diabetic foot disease, but also chronic venous disease that went untreated," she said. "He would not have been able to heal his leg without resolving those conditions."

Blumberg used a procedure called excisional debridement and skin graft techniques to reconstruct his foot and clear out the infection. To prevent future occurrences and improve blood flow to the leg, Blumberg used a process called laser ablation on the troublesome veins that limited circulation.

As a specialist in vascular surgery, Blumberg is part of NYU Langone's Vein Center, one of the top vein treatment programs in New York City. The center uses minimally invasive procedures to treat conditions affecting veins (the blood vessels that transport blood toward the heart), including varicose veins, spider veins, deep vein thrombosis, and venous ulcers.

Dr. Blumberg's ability to solve problems and make a lifelong impact on her patients is evident through patients like Jose. Our patients rely on us- and put their trust in us to do everything we can to improve their health, and Dr. Blumberg's work is an exceptional testament to that promise."

Prashant Sinha, MD, chief of surgery at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn

Since the surgery, Palacios, 56, has been focusing on eating a healthy diet, seeing his doctors regularly, and getting plenty of exercise on his own two feet.

Source: NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn

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