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Clinicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fireman Vascular Center are leaders in the development and use of medical, endovascular and surgical interventions to diagnose, treat and prevent complications of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a circulatory condition in which arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque within the arteries) reduce blood flow to the limbs, particularly to the legs and arms.
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 Peripheral Artery Disease Program brings together a team of clinicians from multiple disciplines to provide care from many perspectives, including:
We work together with each patient and their referring physician to coordinate a personalized treatment plan.
Our team includes experts in diagnostic imaging who are specially trained to detect abnormalities in the vascular system and whose practice focuses specifically on vascular disease. These vascular imaging specialists are board certified in vascular medicine, vascular surgery, vascular radiology and imaging, and are fellowship-trained with additional specialization in vascular procedures.
To diagnose PAD accurately, our specialists rely on noninvasive tests that use inflatable cuffs similar to those used to measure blood pressure. These tests can be performed during a regular office visit and include:
Other diagnostic techniques include:
All of our diagnostic tests may also be performed at our convenient Waltham location
Specialists in the Fireman Vascular Center practice at Mass General and at our convenient location in Waltham. Mass General West offers outpatient services for people with vascular conditions, including imaging, consultation and coordinated care with multiple specialists. Free garage parking is also available.
Depending on the disease severity, PAD symptoms may range from leg discomfort while walking to severe pain at rest or skin breakdown with ulceration. Our goal is to design individualized treatment plans that enable patients to lead active lifestyles and minimize the risk of cardiovascular complications. To treat PAD, our clinicians consider several therapeutic options, including:
Additionally, we work in close collaboration with cardiologists at the Mass General Corrigan Minehan Heart Center to treat associated cardiac conditions. Our clinicians follow patients long-term to ensure ongoing, personalized care over a lifetime.
The Fireman Vascular Center has a long tradition of excellence in clinical care, with clinicians who are considered national leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of PAD. Our physicians are dedicated to pioneering research and serve on many national and international professional boards and societies, including the:
Our clinicians also are committed to educating patients regarding PAD and its risks. Mass General was the first hospital in the United States to partner with the Peripheral Arterial Disease Coalition, a national campaign funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and designed to increase public awareness of PAD.
The Fireman Vascular Center participates in major clinical studies that evaluate new technologies and devices to treat PAD. This allows us to bring our patients promising new treatments as quickly as possible. This innovative work is focused on:
Patients interested in participating in clinical trials can browse online for open trials
The Fireman Vascular Center has taken the unprecedented step of independently following the outcomes of patients who are evaluated for PAD. While treating patients, we carefully document how they respond. These tracking systems ensure that we deliver quality care during a procedure and throughout a patient’s recovery.
Patients and family members can feel confident that our team is always striving to provide the best possible outcome.
Our dedicated nurse coordinator is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 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 to reach our nurse coordinator 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 care system and treatment process.
Mass General is consistently ranked among the best hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Our ranking is based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in 16 different specialties. Our commitment to excellence means that we work to ensure that you can receive the best care at all points during your visit.
Download a PDF about our program
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.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder. It may involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart and diseases of the lymph vessels - the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels.
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.
Many vascular conditions can be improved by changing certain lifestyle factors. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of many factors. If you are trying to make heart-healthy changes to your diet, it is helpful to know some basics about nutrition, starting with the components of food.
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.
After being diagnosed with peripheral artery disease, Christine Coyne stopped smoking and began an exercise regime on the advice of her physician to manage her symptoms. Today, she's swimming multiple times a week.
Each September, the MGH recognizes PAD Awareness month to educate the public about this little known disease. Michael R. Jaff, DO answers some commonly asked questions.
In January 2015, the U.S. FDA approved the use of a drug-coated balloon to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) based on research spearheaded by Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, and Michael R. Jaff, DO.
PAD affects more than 9 million people in the United States, but the disease is often underrecognized by both patients and physicians.
Eugene Tarsky, 73, had never heard of peripheral artery disease (PAD) when he was first diagnosed three years ago. But careful monitoring by doctors and a commitment to reducing his risk factors have kept him healthy and free from complications.
Recognize the symptoms of PAD (Audio)Michael Jaff, DO, encourages the public to recognize the symptoms of peripheral artery disease, a circulatory condition in which arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis reduce blood flow to the limbs, particularly to the legs and arms.
Talk with your doctor about PAD (Audio)Deborah Hines, NP, encourages talking with your doctor about peripheral artery disease, a circulatory condition in which arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis reduce blood flow to the limbs, particularly to the legs and arms.
Dr. Michael Jaff, Medical Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Fireman Vascular Center, is featured in a CNN segment on Peripheral Arterial Disease.
Deborah Hines, NP, encourages talking with your doctor about peripheral artery disease, a circulatory condition in which arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis reduce blood flow to the limbs, particularly to the legs and arms.
Michael Jaff, DO, encourages the public to recognize the symptoms of peripheral artery disease, a circulatory condition in which arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis reduce blood flow to the limbs, particularly to the legs and arms.
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, says that if you have diabetes, your odds are 1 in 3 of developing peripheral artery disease, with potentially serious consequences. Learn more about why peripheral artery disease often goes undetected, and how it can be diagnosed and treated.
Jim O’Brien started to experience pain in his legs and difficulty walking, even short distances. He visited Dr. Douglas Drachman at Mass General, who diagnosed him with peripheral artery disease (PAD). While treating Jim for PAD, Mass General found and diagnosed him with liver cancer. The team of doctors collaborated closely to balance the treatment of both diseases.
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
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