Upward of 8.5 million Americans have peripheral arterial disease, local Delray doctor offers a variety of treatments for PAD ailments

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By: David DiPino Contributing Writer

A world-renowned vascular surgeon and endovascular therapy specialist, Joseph Ricotta, MD, MS, FACS, provides treatments in a variety of ways for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a leg ailment caused by plaque buildup in blood vessels in the legs.

Dr. Ricotta said peripheral arterial disease simply is blockages in the arteries in your legs. Symptoms can range from pain in your calves, thighs, hips or buttocks area when you walk because usually when you stop and rest the pain goes away and when you walk again it comes back. When the blockage gets worse, you can get pain in your legs or the tops of your feet, ulcers or sores on the feet, gangrene on the feet and that could lead to amputation.

Factors putting patients at risk include age, 55 and older, smoking, which causes plaque and clogs up arteries, and diabetes which causes plaque, hardening of the arteries, as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Dr. Ricotta points out there is a wide-variety of treatment for PAD ailments today including medical options, it can be surgical with bypasses or it can be endovascular with minimally invasive needle puncture in the groin using balloons and stents, wires and catheters.

About 90 percent of the time, he treats PAD using an endovascular approach with a minimally invasive technique. Because the endovascular treatments are minimally invasive, Dr. Ricotta said sometimes patients leave the hospital the next day.

Dr. Ricotta said some of the reason why his vascular treatments and outcomes have quicker recovery times is due to robotic endovascular tools Delray Medical Center invested in upon his arrival to this area in 2016. One of the tools Dr. Ricotta uses at the hospital for vascular procedures is the Magellan™ Robotic System and in 2018, Dr. Ricotta was the first ever person in the world to successfully complete a robotic-assisted peripheral vascular intervention procedure using the FDA-cleared CorPath GRX System.

It is widely reported how Dr. Ricotta saved the limb of a Delray Beach man after an imperfection in a new shoe he was walking in caused a diabetic wound, many other doctors thought should be amputated. Dr. Ricotta specializes in limb salvage and saved the foot.

“My right foot and ankle infection went all the way down to my bone. It was a nightmare. I went to see Dr. Ricotta in his office, where he determined it would be beneficial to undergo a procedure to save my foot, ankle and leg,” said Bill Wilson. “This limb salvage procedure was done by Dr. Ricotta, robotically using an intravenous approach to get into the vascular system in my leg. Dr. Ricotta told me during the surgery he inflated a drug-coated balloon to create an angioplasty to open up a blockage and create a path in my right leg, which was caused by my diabetes and the infection. This is what saved my life. The lack of circulation in my right leg was causing my limb to die and the infection in the leg was down to the bone. In addition, Dr. Ricotta had to remove three-quarters of my Achilles tendon.”

Wilson added that Dr. Ricotta’s operation is what saved my leg and foot. The wound was the size of a silver dollar and now it’s completely closed. The MRI’s showed the infection went down to the bone. I had osteomyelitis which is an infection in a bone. I’ve had no discomfort whatsoever, none procedurally or after care. I have Brittle Diabetes and my team of doctors and everyone at Delray Medical Center from my primary care doctor to my podiatrist, to my infectious disease specialist and Dr. Joseph Ricotta, did such a fantastic job in treating me.

“It was a real team effort but the turning point was the establishment of the blood flow by Dr. Ricotta – that saved my leg and my life,” said Wilson.

Dr. Ricotta has a Tenet Florida Cardiovascular Care practice and adjacent onsite laboratory and he is on-staff at Delray Medical Center.

Dr. Joseph Ricotta’s office is located at 4205 W. Atlantic Ave., Bldg. B, Suite 201. For more information visit www.DrJosephRicotta.com or call 561-303-0013.