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What is a Pre-Amputation Conference? 

Losing a part of a leg, or any other part of your body, can be a very traumatic experience. Under many circumstances such as trauma or cancer, an amputation happens immediately. However, there are other cases in which a person has to decide to have an amputation or knows in advance that the operation will occur. In this type of circumstance, a pre-amputation conference can be very beneficial to the patient and his/her family.

Pre-amputation conferences can be arranged by amputees directly, or any member of the rehabilitation team, such as therapists, physicians, nurses, or case managers. The only pre-requisite for arranging a pre-amputation conference is that the individual contemplating amputation wants a pre-amputation conference.

A pre-amputation conference with doctors, prosthetists, therapists and other amputees can alleviate a lot of the stress after surgery. Unfortunately, in cases where amputations are immediate the person has no time to think about what is happening, which usually makes the recovery process, at least psychologically, more difficult.

In an ideal situation, people with pending amputations can ask their physicians about the actual surgery and what to expect in recovery. Also, meeting with a prosthetist to discuss prosthetic options is another important step.

Prosthetists can meet with someone contemplating an amputation to explain the timeline of prosthetic care following surgery. The prosthetist can also provide the person with a tour of the facility so he/she can see from start to finish the process of prosthetic care. Seeing the actual fabrication lab can help someone understand more clearly how a prosthesis is created. Sample prostheses can also be shown. A meeting with the insurance coordinator can also help the person understand the insurance aspects that come along with a prosthesis.

Pre-amputation conferences are crucial in helping people understand what life will be like following an amputation. Asking questions at this stage minimizes surprises.

Peer visitation can occur at any time, whether before an amputation, immediately following an amputation, or anytime afterwards.

Peer visitation can involve a phone call, online contact, or an in-person visit.

Visit for more peer visitation guidelines.

Another important aspect to the pre-amputation conference is peer support. Peer support is where the person pending amputation, or the person who has already undergone amputation, is able to have contact with another amputee. Peer visitors can be selected based on age, gender, amputation level and amputation circumstances. Peer visitors can answer many questions and provide lots of other valuable information.

A new amputee is not alone. There are many ways to talk to other amputees, including through peer visits, support groups or online. The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) offers a listing of support groups in other areas as well as an online support group. For more information, you can go to


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