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The Mass General Fireman Vascular Center is one of the only vascular centers in the country with specialists in every area of vascular disease. Our Stroke and Carotid Artery Disease Program brings together a team of clinicians from multiple disciplines to provide care from many perspectives, including:
We work together with the patient and referring physician to coordinate personalized treatment plans for all patients.
Jessica Diaz had a stroke caused by a small hole in her heart, which had allowed a blood clot to travel to her brain. As a young and active mother of two, Jessica worked with a team of Mass General doctors to not only repair her heart, but determine a treatment plan to minimize future health risks. Watch video
Our team of full time, board-certified imaging experts is made up of neurovascular radiologists, neurologists, vascular medicine and vascular surgery specialists who are specially trained to detect abnormalities in the vascular system and whose practice focuses specifically on vascular disease. Each specialist is trained in performance and interpretation of advanced neurovascular diagnostic tests.
Depending on the patient, we may use one or more diagnostic techniques, including:
These tests are also available at our convenient Waltham location
Our primary treatment goal is to prevent future stroke in patients through a combination of lifestyle changes, medical management and other interventions. Our neurovascular specialists guide patients through smoking cessation programs and work with cardiologists in the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center to treat heart disease. We encourage our patients to make the following lifestyle changes, if necessary:
If our physicians decide to use an interventional approach, we offer the following procedures:
In 2006 Massachusetts General Hospital physicians treated more stroke patients with an in-hospital stay than any other hospital in Massachusetts. A state-designated primary stroke center, Mass General provides emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to patients with symptoms of acute stroke. Our Stroke Service focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all stages of stroke.
These neurovascular specialists offer the following services to stroke patients:
The Fireman Vascular Center has a long tradition of excellence in clinical care, and our clinicians are internationally recognized as experts and innovators in the diagnosis and treatment of carotid artery disease and stroke. Our center incorporates renowned neurologists, surgeons, cardiologists and vascular medicine specialists who are leading figures in American cerebrovascular care.
Our collaborative, multidisciplinary team works together to bring state-of-the-art research and technology right to patients. Two of our physicians, including Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, and Richard Cambria, MD, are leading national research efforts to evaluate carotid endartectomy and carotid artery stenting to treat patients with carotid stenosis. All of our physicians are at the forefront of new research and serve on many national and international professional boards and societies.
The Fireman Vascular Center participates in most major clinical studies evaluating new technologies and medications to treat carotid stenosis. This allows us to bring our patients promising new treatments as quickly as possible. Some of these studies include:
Patients interested in participating in clinical trials should contact their provider to learn more.
View a sample of our clinical research
Our dedicated nurse coordinator is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm to take relevant information about your condition and symptoms and to make a timely appointment with the most appropriate specialist. Call 877-644-8346 or request an appointment online
We strive to see patients as soon as possible and assign every patient one clinician to organize care between members of our multidisciplinary team. From diagnosis to treatment and follow-up, this physician guides patients through the treatment process.
The Fireman Vascular Center has taken the unprecedented step of independently following the outcomes of patients who have undergone procedures for carotid artery disease and stroke. While patients are in our care, we carefully document how they respond to treatment using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale.
We are one of the only hospitals in the nation to perform the Stroke Scale on patients scheduled for either carotid endarterectomy or carotid artery stent before and following their treatment. These tracking systems ensure we deliver quality care and inform the public about our success rates with unprecedented accuracy and objectivity.
Patients and families members can feel confident that our team is always striving to provide the best possible outcome.
The care team at the Fireman Vascular Center encourages all patients and family members to learn more about conditions and diseases that affect the cardiovascular system. The links below provide more information about vascular conditions and diseases that might be treated within this program.
Carotid artery disease, also called carotid artery stenosis, occurs when the carotid arteries, the main blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the brain, become narrowed.
Stroke, also called brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted.
Mass General is dedicated to ensuring that people understand their health care choices and have the necessary information to make decisions affecting their health and well being. The related support and wellness information listed below can play a role in treatment options.
When you exercise, you'll breathe faster and more deeply. This maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Diseases caused by smoking kill more than 437,900 people in the United States each year. Around 35 percent of these deaths were cardiovascular related.
A good indicator of how much fat you carry is the Body Mass Index (BMI). Although it is not a perfect measure, it gives a fairly accurate assessment of how much of your body is composed of fat.
The Joint Commission recently certified Massachusetts General Hospital as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. This certification is designed to recognize the specific capabilities of hospitals that can treat the most complex stroke case. Mass General is the first hospital in Massachusetts to receive this certification.
Patients with carotid artery narrowing had been limited to endarterectomy or stenting, however a new approach allows for comparable results with less risk.
Massachusetts General Hospital has received two awards from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital revealed the results of the CREST trial, a study that looked at the efficacy of carotid endarterectomy versus stenting in patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis, and found that these two medical procedures are both equally safe and effective.
Vascular Center at Waltham52 Second Avenue, Suite 2100 Waltham, MA 02451 Phone: 877-644-8346 Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Learn about our convenient Waltham location
Fireman Vascular Center physicians and scientists participate in international research and lead more than 70 clinical trials that evaluate current therapies and investigate new devices to treat vascular disease. These research efforts have led to a number of groundbreaking firsts, bringing innovative new treatments to the patient’s bedside.
Michael Jaff, DO, Medical Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Fireman Vascular Center explains how carotid artery disease can cause a stroke, unless it is found early and treated, and how you can identify your risk for this condition.
Jessica Diaz had a stroke caused by a small hole in the heart, which had allowed a blood clot to travel to her brain. As a young and active mother of two, Jessica worked with a team of Mass General doctors to not only repair her heart, but determine a treatment plan to minimize future health risks.
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