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Preventing Amputations Starts with PCPs

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, August 29, 2013

J.A. Mustapha, MD, works to save limbs. A big part of his challenge is persuading primary care physicians to refer patients with peripheral arterial disease to specialty services like his, where amputations may be prevented.


J.A. Mustapha


J.A. Mustapha, MD, FACC, FSCAI

One of J.A. Mustapha's most prized possessions is a photo of one of his patient's walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.

J.A. Mustapha, MD, FACC, FSCAI, saved the man's leg from amputation.

More than 100,000 adults lose limbs each year due to vascular disorders, as I report this month in HealthLeaders Media Magazine, and with an increasingly aging and heavier population at risk for diabetes, more are likely to do so.

As director of Metro Health Hospital's endovascular intervention program, Mustapha works to save limbs, and he often does. He specializes in treating patients at risk for losing limbs due to vascular disorders.

Mustapha is enthusiastic about what he does. He is grateful that he has saved many more limbs than he thought possible, at the 208-bed Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming, MI.

But some primary care doctors counseling patients whose limbs are in jeopardy don't seek out the specialty services of Mustapha or others like him, Mustapha tells me. Instead, many physicians simply examine the limbs and recommend amputation.

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