The nurse is instructing a patient about measures to control thromboangiitis obliterans. The patient understands the disease process when he states:


• Thromboangiitis obliterans (also called Buerger's disease) is characterized by inflammation and thrombosis of the vessels of the hands and feet. It is strongly associated with smoking

• Ulceration is a common complication associated with thromboangiitis obliterans. The patient should frequently inspect the skin for signs of tissue ulceration and necrosis

• Incorrect: The patient will need medication. Thromboangiitis obliterans is usually treated with vasodilators and sometimes bypass surgery to restore perfusion

• Incorrect: Smoking is the number one risk factor. The patient should not 'cut down' on smoking, but should quit smoking entirely in order to slow the progression of the disease

• Incorrect: The patient should keep extremities warm, not cool. Cold temperatures can cause vasoconstriction and worsen symptoms

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