What Is A Tourniquet?
A tourniquet is something used to cut off the blood to a tissue. Anything that accomplishes this goal could be considered a tourniquet. A belt applied to a leg could act as a tourniquet. A rubber band applied to a finger could be considered a tourniquet.
While simple tight elastic bandages can be used for a tourniquet, more typically a cuff is applied and a machine is used to tighten a cuff and stop blood flow. In the foot, most podiatric physicians will apply two times the systolic blood pressure to cut off the blood flow to the foot and leg.
Why Are Tourniquets Used?
Most tourniquets are used during surgical procedures, where there is a perceived need to cut down on blood flow to the tissues. Many doctors feel that tourniquets keep the surgical field cleaner (less bloody), and so they can perform the surgery faster and more efficiently, which means less stress to the patient.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Using A Tourniquet?
When Are Tourniquets Used?
It is really up to the physician to decide when to use tourniquets. Many doctors use tourniquets on the majority of their podiatric surgical cases.
For most foot surgeries we perform at the Achilles Foot Health Clinic and Surgical Centre, we rarely use tourniquets. We find that tourniquets create unnecessary tissue damage, and if the surgical dissection is performed carefully, the surgical field can be maintained free of blood in the vast majority of circumstances. Finally, we prefer to see if there is a bleeding vessel during the surgery, and deal with it during the procedure.
When Should Tourniquets Not Be Used?
Tourniquets are more likely to be avoided in these cases:
If you are having surgery and you have any of these conditions, you may wish to discuss with your physician whether he or she plans to use a tourniquet during the procedure.