St. Elizabeth'sServices and Clinical CentersVascular Center

Vascular Medicine

 

St. Elizabeth’s Vascular Medicine program is renowned for its successful use of traditional and advanced techniques to diagnose and solve problems of clotting, narrowing arteries and veins and the ulcers and infection that can come as a result of impaired blood flow to and from the heart and limbs.

Our vascular medicine specialists, all board certified faculty members of the Tufts University School of Medicine, collaborate closely with an outstanding, multidisciplinary team of interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons.  We offer medicinal therapies and some of the most technologically sophisticated minimally invasive procedures available anywhere.

Every year, we perform thousands of non-invasive diagnostic studies and nearly 500 interventional procedures, which make us one of the leading vascular teams in New England.  Our involvement in important national clinical trials allows our patients access to leading-edge treatments that may not be available elsewhere in the region.

But what sets us apart is our holistic, personalized approach to patient care.  Our entire staff is devoted to knowing every patient individually and to working closely with their families and referring physicians.  Our goal is to help each patient live as actively and productively as possible.

Noninvasive Diagnostic Procedures

St. Elizabeth’s noninvasive, state-of-the-art vascular diagnostic laboratory provides complete arterial and venous duplex ultrasound studies, vein-mapping and resting and exercise ankle/brachial index (ABI) testing. We perform more than 4,000 studies per year.

Advanced Interventional Procedures

St. Elizabeth’s talented vascular specialists are well-known for their successful use of technically sophisticated procedures in healing conditions related to clogged or collapsed blood vessels.

For Arteries
Ours was the first laboratory in New England to perform carotid stenting and “freezing balloon” cryoplasty. We routinely perform carotid and vertebral subclavian, innominate, renal, iliac and other interventions.

  • As one of the leading sites in New England for carotid stenting, we are active in six related clinical trials, including the major Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs Stent Trial (CREST) to compare the effectiveness of stenting to surgery.
  • We are a leader in renal artery stenting which we routinely perform using technology that prevents plaque from embolyzing in the arteries—with outstanding outcomes.
  • We are among the top five US users of “Frontrunner” devices, which “burrow” through clotted arteries in minutes instead of the hours required by more traditional technology.
  • We are New England’s leading site for laser atherectomy, plaque excision and cryoplasty.

For Veins
St. Elizabeth’s is expert at treating advanced vascular disease using angioplasty, venous stents and a variety of leading edge procedures not available in most other medical centers. We are often able to reduce pain, swelling and the risk of stroke associated with deep venous thrombosis and other forms of vascular disease.

  • We routinely use balloons and wires to restore blood flow to patients’ lower legs and feet. With devices called trellis catheters, we can usually isolate and remove clots thus decreasing pain, swelling and the risk of post- thrombotic syndrome.
  • We are often able save limbs of patients at risk of losing them due to poor circulation, ulcers or infection.
  • We are experts at Apligraf®, an outpatient procedure employing bio-engineered skin grafts for patients with non-healing diabetic ulcers.

Dialysis Access

We are known for our superb ability to provide access for dialysis by inserting and maintaining arteriovenous (AV) fistulas.  Some AV fistulas implanted at St. Elizabeth’s have lasted for 15 years or more.  Our dialysis access services are available to patients undergoing treatment at St. Elizabeth’s or elsewhere. 

Peripheral Artery Disease

St. Elizabeth’s has long taken a multidisciplinary medical and surgical approach to improving blood flow in patients with a variety of conditions.  Vascular surgeons and medical specialists work together closely in treating occlusive disease such as clots, blockages that may lead to strokes.  They also collaborate in providing:

  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Minimally invasive restoration of peripheral circulation (endovascular procedures)
  • Abdominal aortic bypass surgery to restore circulation
  • Open and minimally invasive management of aortic aneurysms
  • Complex vascular bypasses to save the limbs of diabetic or elderly patients

Vascular access for dialysis patients from St. Elizabeth’s and many other hospitals. St. Elizabeth’s fistulas are composed of natural materials and may remain operational over fifteen or more years of dialysis treatment

Community Screening Program

In collaboration with local physicians and podiatrists, St. Elizabeth’s has embarked on a novel community screening program for peripheral artery disease. St. Elizabeth’s provides each participating doctor with non-invasive testing equipment that relays patients’ results to St. Elizabeth’s for interpretation. Within one day, we send an evaluation of the results to the local doctor who can provide or refer patients for treatment, if needed.

For more information, please contact the Vascular Medicine program at 617-789-2110.


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