Buerger’s Disease, a chronic, inflammatory, obstructing tobacco-associated vasculopathy, can lead to tissue loss and major amputations of limbs.
Buerger’s disease is a condition wherein the blood flow to the arteries is restricted due to the constant use of tobacco. Continuous smoking leads to peripheral vascular disease, loss of tissue and in major cases, amputations of the limbs explains vascular surgeon Dr S. Bala Kumar.Buerger’s disease is chronic, inflammatory, obstructing tobacco-associated vasculopathy found in small and medium-sized arteries. It is largely found in young smokers. The flow of blood supply to the arteries and adjacent nerves is affected due to constant use of tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars and beedis. Acute cases of Buerger’s disease result in tissue loss and major amputations of limbs. The incidence in India is between 77 per cent in males and 11 to 23 per cent in females.
The median age of diagnosis is 34 years. This disease is a relatively common cause of peripheral vascular disease in young people and a cause of disability in patients of all ages. It manifests with decreased blood supply in a smoker before the age of 45 to 50 years. Nearly 95 per cent of the patients have a history of smoking and using other forms of tobacco. The other risk factors are nutritional deficit and poor oral hygiene, which also aggravates the disease.
Tobacco does not affect the uterus and hormonal changes associated with menopause. Other factors like poor nutrition and oral hygiene indirectly have impact. This can lead to an immune-compromised condition whereby the person is susceptible to infections and diseases.