Quick Case: Diabetic foot treatment with topical vacuum therapy

The patient is a 54-year-old farmer from a rural area near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. He had a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus 3 years ago, and he is taking oral hypoglycemic agents. Six months ago he developed swelling and itching of his left lower limb, and when he scratched hard, several ulcers developed.

In matter of days, the ulcers became large, and the entire limb was foul smelling. He was admitted in another hospital. After a few debridements, they decided to amputate the lower limb. Since he was not willing to allow amputation, he came for a trial of treatment with vacuum therapy after one of the visitors had suggested the treatment.
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After about 10 days of vacuum therapy, the wounds started healing, and the idea of amputation was given up. He had skin grafting 18 days after starting treatment.

He returned home after his wounds had healed well. During the time of treatment, he was also treated with insulin for his diabetes and received injectable antibiotics.

  Gnanaraj diabetic 1-17.12 Gnanaraj diabetic 2 - 17.12
Gnanaraj diabetic 3 - 28.12 Gnanaraj diabetic 4 - 28.12


About The Author

Gnanaraj-64Dr. J. Gnanaraj MS, MCh [Urology], FICS, FARSI, FIAGES is a urologist and laparoscopic surgeon trained at CMC Vellore. He has been appointed as a Professor in the Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering Department of Karunya University and is the Director of Medical Services of the charitable organization SEESHA. He has a special interest in rural surgery and has trained many surgeons in remote rural areas while working in the mission hospitals in rural India. He has helped 21 rural hospitals start minimally invasive surgeries. He has more than 150 publications in national and international journals, most of which are related to modifications necessary for rural surgical practice. He received the Barker Memorial award from the Tropical Doctor for the work regarding surgical camps in rural areas. He is also the recipient of the Innovations award of Emmanuel Hospital Association for health insurance programs in remote areas and the Antia Finseth innovation award for Single incision Gas less laparoscopic surgeries. During the past year, he has been training surgeons in innovative gas less single incision laparoscopic surgeries.


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  1. Vishwanath Iyer
    Posted Feb 2014 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Can I have some details about this “vacuum” therapy? Is it the same as ‘”vac”?

  2. Suresh Kalyanasundar
    Posted Feb 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    As has been your interst in innovation can you kindly send details of VAC and the equipment being used and the cost of procurement

    Dr K Suresh

  3. Meena Khambay
    Posted Mar 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Can I get some details about this vacuum treatment for diabetic foot.

  4. mdCurrent-India Editor
    Posted Mar 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    More details on the treatment and machines are available in another article by Dr. Gnanaraj, Negative pressure wound therapy: Low cost machines and local adaptations, including contact information for the engineer who developed the low-cost machines.

    Another article also has more information here: Cost-effective method for treating diabetic foot: Improved healing lessens need for lower-limb amputation

    -mdCurrent-India Staff

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