A 68-year-old woman for whom amputation of the left leg had been suggested by doctors because blood flow was severely affected by diabetes has been successfully treated with stem cell therapy.

S.R. Subrammaniyan, chief consultant vascular surgeon, Vijaya hospital, said the patient, a diabetic for the last 17 years, came to the hospital two months ago with an ulcer in the left foot, and the skin on most part of her lower left leg and foot open. After conducting an angiogram, he found that the vessels were so badly damaged that the traditional methods of treatment, including bypass surgery, was not possible.

Dr. Subrammaniyan said that in 60 days, the patient’s nervous framework in the left leg and foot had been restored to a considerable extent, and the skin had also grown back in some parts. There was huge potential for this treatment in India where otherwise many people lose a limb to diabetes.

The cost of the treatment is around Rs. 40,000-50,000. However, Dr. Subrammaniyan expects the cost to come down further, as more people go in for this kind of treatment.

Link [www.hindu.com/2006/10/23/stories/2006102312760700.htm]