When Ann Foti learned that she could become a living donor for her husband, Gino, she was determined to donate her kidney to him; however, because of complications with Gino’s condition and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, their journey toward transplantation surgery was far from simple.
Fireman Vascular Center
Fibromuscular Dysplasia Program
Fibromuscular Dysplasia Program
Fireman Vascular Center
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Explore This Treatment Program
The Massachusetts General Hospital Fireman Vascular Center is one of the only vascular centers in the country with specialists in every area of vascular disease. Our physicians are known nationally for their expertise in diagnosing, treating and helping patients manage fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD).
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Treating Fibromuscular Dysplasia
Because FMD is a relatively uncommon condition, it is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as symptoms can be completely absent or hard to detect. It commonly affects young women who have been healthy up until this point in their lives. Learn more about fibromuscular dysplasia.
Our Fibromuscular Dysplasia Program brings together a team of clinicians who work together to first diagnose and then develop a recommended treatment plan for patients with FMD. These clinicians bring expertise from a wide range of disciplines including:
- Cardiology/vascular medicine
- Genetic research
- Neuroendovascular therapy
- Obstetrics and gynecology
- Vascular and endovascular surgery
- Vascular imaging and intervention
We work together with the patient and referring physician to coordinate a personalized treatment plan for every patient.
To accurately diagnose FMD, our team includes vascular imaging specialists who are trained to detect abnormalities in the vascular system. These vascular imaging specialists are board certified and are fellowship trained with additional specialization in vascular procedures. Depending on the patient, we may use one or more techniques to diagnose FMD, including:
- Computed tomography angiography (CTA), which uses a combination of X-rays, contrast dye and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images of the body
- Contrast arteriography, which uses contrast dye to see the inside of blood vessels and organs of the body, especially the arteries, veins and chambers of the heart
Duplex ultrasonography, a technique that uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues and organs. Duplex ultrasonography is used to measure and assess the flow of blood
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), a noninvasive procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body
Many of our diagnostic tests are also available at our convenient Waltham location.
Leading Treatments for Fibromuscular Dysplasia
Clinicians in the Fibromuscular Dysplasia Program are national leaders in the medical, endovascular and surgical treatment of vascular disease. Treatment is determined according to the severity of a patient’s condition and includes:
- Medical therapy: Medications used to manage FMD include antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs to prevent blood clots, and drugs to control blood pressure
- Minimally invasive endovascular therapy: Physicians may use a minimally invasive procedure known as percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) to open narrowed sections of arteries affected by FMD. In this technique, a balloon-tipped catheter (thin, flexible tube) is threaded through the affected artery to expand it. A stent, which is a tiny metal-mesh tube, may occasionally be inserted to keep the artery open. PTA is less invasive than open surgery and results in faster recovery times
- Surgery: This intervention re-routes blood flow around the diseased artery and may be used in severe cases or when PTA is not an option
Lifelong Support for Patients
Although FMD can be controlled successfully, there is no cure. For some patients, FMD may be a recurring condition that requires lifelong monitoring by the physician. Depending on the individual case, we may recommend follow-up visits at a frequent occurrence at first, and then ultimately once or twice a year. Because FMD can increase the risk of high blood pressure, impaired kidney function, aneurysm, stroke and other complications, we carefully watch patients for these possible complications. We collaborate with specialists who are knowledgeable about the implications of FMD on other aspects of your life. If needed, we can also refer patients for:
- Psychosocial treatment: FMD often affects young, otherwise healthy women, and coping with it can be difficult. We work closely with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, psychologists and other mental health professionals who offer counseling to help patients deal with the stress and anxiety that may accompany the condition
- Obstetrics and gynecological care: Specialists in obstetrics and gynecology can advise patients with FMD about the use of oral contraceptives, estrogen therapy and other hormone-based medications, which can affect blood flow in the arteries
Genetic counseling: Because FMD appears to run in families, women of childbearing age may receive counseling about the genetic basis of the condition
Advancing Research and Innovation
As an academic medical center, Mass General leads research to understand disease and develop new approaches in treatment. We participate in the National Fibromuscular Dysplasia Registry, which collects data from different centers throughout the United States on FMD cases. Data in the registry is used by researchers and clinicians to better understand and improve the diagnosis and treatment of FMD. Each patient who is seen in our program is asked to participate. Consenting patients allow us to enter data about patient history, symptoms, findings on imaging tests and treatment into this registry. Data entered does not include any personal identification.
One Call Coordinates Care
Our access specialist is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm to take relevant information about your condition and FMD-related 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 among members of our multidisciplinary team. From diagnosis to treatment and follow up, this clinician guides patients through the treatment process.
Meet Our Team
Our center incorporates renowned neurologists, surgeons, cardiologists and vascular medicine specialists who are leading figures in American cerebrovascular care.
- Director MGH Vascular Lab
- Co-Director of the MGH Vascular Lab
- Associate Director of the MGH Wound Care Center
- Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
- Department of Surgery
- Vice President, Mass General Brigham Global Advisory
- Associate Chair, Business Strategy & Analytics, Department of Radiology
- Associate Radiologist, Division of Interventional Radiology
- Director of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery
- Co-Director of the Neuroendovascular Program
- Department of Neurosurgery
- Department of Neurology
- Section Head, Vascular Medicine and Intervention
- Chairman, STEMI & Acute MI Quality Improvement Committee
- Associate Director, Vascular Medicine
- Interventional Radiology Integrated Residency Program Director
- Interventional Radiology Fellowship Program Director
- Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
- Director, Vascular Medicine Fellowship
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.
Of the 437,900 smoking deaths in the U.S. each year, 35% are cardiovascular related
- Press Release
- Jul | 16 | 2020
Blood type is not associated with a severe worsening of symptoms in people who have tested positive for COVID-19, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have reported, dispelling previous reports that suggested a correlation between certain blood type and COVID-19
- Patient Education
- May | 5 | 2020
In this Q&A, Aneesh Singhal, MD, vice chair of the Department of Neurology, describes the risk of clotting disorders among COVID-19 patients, the treatment options available, how patients can prevent stroke and what to do if they experience symptoms.
- Patient Education
- Mar | 2 | 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mass General Fireman Vascular Center is providing general and surgical care for our patients. We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure all office visits, procedures and surgeries are welcoming and safe. We have also expanded our virtual visit offerings.
- Press Release
- May | 16 | 2019
New high-sensitivity cardiac troponin tests can help physicians diagnose a heart attack in as little as an hour.
- Jan | 25 | 2019
45 doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital's Department of Surgery were included in Boston magazine's 2019 Top Doctors list.