Have you ever heard of Gangrene? The term can often conjure up images of an amputated body part, but contrary to popular belief, there is more to gangrene than meets the eye. Whether you have a medical condition that puts you at risk for developing gangrene or want to educate yourself on this serious medical issue, reading ahead will give you all the information needed! In this blog post, we will explore what exactly gangrene treatment is, its Risks and Complications, how it develops and progresses in the body, and the treatment options available so that you can make informed decisions about your health care.
What is gangrene?
Gangrene is a serious medical condition when body tissue dies due to an inadequate blood supply. An injury, an infection, or long-term medical issues such as diabetes or vascular disease can cause it. The main symptom of gangrene is the darkening of the skin in the affected area, which may be accompanied by pain, swelling, or a foul smell. If left untreated, gangrene can cause severe health problems, including organ failure, sepsis, and even death.
Types of gangrene:
There are mainly 5 types of gangrene, and each shows different symptoms. These are:
1. Wet gangrene:
Bacterial infections of the affected tissue cause wet gangrene, which progresses rapidly. In addition to discoloration of the skin, wet gangrene also causes blistering, oozing, and a bad odor from decomposing tissues. These infected tissues become the main cause of wet gangrene. When a body part gets injured, then the cells get to die. This is very dangerous as it spreads quickly to the whole body. Especially since it becomes more dangerous to those who already have diabetes.
2. Dry gangrene:
Dry gangrene usually results from poor blood circulation in the affected area. This dry gangrene tends to progress more slowly than wet gangrene. But there are low chances of becoming affected, and then you can see the symptoms of wet gangrene. It often begins with numbness in the area, followed by a change in color to yellowish-brown or black over time as tissues die off. People with vascular diseases or diabetes issues have more chances of getting affected by this dry gangrene.
3. Gas gangrene:
If there is an infection inside any muscle tissue, you can call it gas gangrene. It is a rare kind of infection. It happens as there is gas within the cell. At first, you can see the skin surface is very normal. But you may have pain inside. After some days, the skin color turns grey or red as per the muscle condition. You can feel a bubble or crackling sound when you press that affected skin.
4. Fournier’s gangrene:
Most men get affected by Fournier’s gangrene. This gangrene happens when an infection occurs in the men’s genital area. From the first stage, it is curable. But it is dangerous if the infection spreads to the bloodstream.
5. Internal gangrene:
This rare type of gangrene happens in surgery areas. Its main role is it stops blood flow to the internal organs. Internal gangrene does not take more time to spread. It is curable if you treat it from the prior stage.
Some risk factors for gangrene –
People who have some specific health conditions have a high risks and complications of gangrene. Such as:
In some surgery, the underlying tissues become dead, which creates a high risks and complications of developing gangrene. When the underlying tissue blocks the blood flow, gangrene increases the chances of getting affected.
People have diabetic issues, and their bodies can’t produce the required insulin. This insulin helps cells to take up blood sugar. High blood sugar levels are the main reason damaged blood vessels eventually reduce the blood flow to the body part.
If blood clotting is in your limbs, less blood will pass through them. So it increases the chances of being affected by gangrene.
Medicines that are injected:
In rare circumstances, some medications and illicit injectable substances may infect users with bacteria that might result in gangrene.
Symptoms of gangrene:
The types of gangrene and their risks and complications play an important role that showing the symptoms. Some kind of gangrene shows discoloration of the skin and some shows huge pain in the affected area. Redness, roughness, and swelling of the affected area are some more symptoms you can see if the body is affected by gangrene.
Except for these symptoms, in some cases, the affected body can get a high fever or dizziness. There may be breathing issues and regular changes in the heartbeat. Changes in blood pressure and mental confusion are some main symptoms if there is internal gangrene.
Gangrene can also develop in areas of your body where there is inadequate blood flow. Only blood carries oxygen and antibodies to all tissues. If these substances don’t get there in time, the cells start to die. Therefore, gangrene’s main causes are tissue infection, certain medical problems that can disrupt blood circulation, and severe wounds are its risks and complications.
Diagnosis process of gangrene:
The diagnosis of gangrene is a complicated process that involves both physical examination and laboratory tests. A thorough physical examination includes the identification of the affected area. Also evaluation of peripheral pulses, skin temperature, and capillary refill time. In addition to examining the affected area, the clinician should also assess any associated signs and symptoms, such as fever, changes in sensation, or any visible evidence of infection.
With this, your doctor may need to know about your all medical history with current conditions. If there is any recent accident or injuries you should share this also. After completion of all the testing, the radiologists will evaluate all the imaging results.
A healthcare professional must perform a variety of tests to identify gangrene. Which are:
1) To perform a blood test to check for infections.
2) They will perform a bacteria culture test to identify the bacteria.
3) CT scan for a thorough examination of the injured area.
Treatments for gangrene:
Many options are there to treat this gangrene and its risks and complications. When the medical professional finds out the type of gangrene, it will be easy to gangrene treatment.
Some main goals of treating gangrene:
1. Permanently remove dead tissues from the body.
2. Prevent infection, so that gangrene will not spread to any part of the body.
3. Make a better blood flow.
Types of gangrene treatment:
Removal of tissues:
Treatment for gangrene typically involves surgery to remove dead tissue as well as antibiotics to treat any underlying infections.
Biosurgery is another option, through which the medical professional will take a sample of skin tissue from the affected area. This will help him to diagnose gangrene and distinguish between necrotic tissue due to gangrene versus other causes. The biopsy can also provide further information about bacterial species causing infection and whether antibiotic therapy is needed for treatment.
If left untreated, however, it can cause dangerous complications including bone infection, septic shock, and even death from organ failure. Therefore it’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any signs or symptoms associated with this condition. You may need antibiotics if you get a bacterial infection for gangrene.
Restoration of blood flow: Your body may need surgery that helps proper blood flow in the affected blood vessels.
If you find out gangrene from the early stage, doctors can go through some other treatments to solve your gangrene infection.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT):
When blood can’t flow properly to all the areas, the cells will die due to a lack of oxygen. Through this HBOT process, the medical professional circulates high levels of oxygen through the body tissues. This will help them to heal. This process is needful for those who suffer from gas gangrene.
Skin graft surgery:
Your doctor will do this by covering the scars with healthy skin removed from another area of your body.
Gangrene is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires prompt medical treatment. If you think you or someone you know may have gangrene, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. KBK multispeciality hospital has a team of experienced doctors who can provide the necessary treatment for gangrene, especially in gangrene symptoms feet, and help improve your overall health.
1. can gangrene lead to death?
The type of gangrene you have is largely responsible for this. The kind of gangrene known as gas gangrene is uncommon. Finding out its symptoms requires more time. If no treatment is given, it will become lethal in 48 hours. If you learn about it at an early stage, you can recover.
2. can gangrene be cured?
There are many different gangrene therapies available, including oxygen therapy, antibiotics, and surgery to improve blood flow and remove dead tissue. The sooner you find out about gangrene and start treatment, the greater the likelihood of recovery.
3. which gangrene is most dangerous?
Wet gangrene is more dangerous than other types of gangrene. As it spread more quickly and can create many kinds of health issues. Such as septic and infections. The main drawback is you can’t recover from it easily.
4. Are gangrene and necrosis the same thing?
Gangrene develops when the tissue receives a reduced blood supply. This may result from radiation, toxins, or physical harm. However, necrosis is the opposite of gangrene. Necrosis is the death of a cell within the tissues of the body. Injuries and diseases can also cause this. After removing the dead cells, you can recover from gangrene. However, after eliminating the dead bodily tissues in necrosis, you can’t recover.
5. When to amputate if gangrene occurs?
Amputation may be essential in some serious gangrene situations where the entire body part, for example, a finger, toe, or leg, is affected.