VASCULAR INSTITUTE: ‘Saving limbs and giving people back their lives’

By GWEN SWIGER
Posted 7/7/19

“The patient is truly at the center of everything” at Vascular Institute of Chattanooga.

On June 19, the Cleveland office opened to offer “better treatment of vascular issues.”

The VIC offers treatment in peripheral artery disease (narrowed arteries with reduced blood flow to the limbs), critical limb ischemia (obstruction of the arteries which reduces blood flow to hands, feet and legs), general vascular care (narrowed, blocked or dilated blood vessels), carotid artery disease (clogged arteries to the brain) and varicose veins (breakdown of collagen in the vein walls that causes damage to veins).

This item is available in full to subscribers

VASCULAR INSTITUTE: ‘Saving limbs and giving people back their lives’

Posted

“The patient is truly at the center of everything” at Vascular Institute of Chattanooga.
On June 19, the Cleveland office opened to offer “better treatment of vascular issues.”
The VIC offers treatment in peripheral artery disease (narrowed arteries with reduced blood flow to the limbs), critical limb ischemia (obstruction of the arteries which reduces blood flow to hands, feet and legs), general vascular care (narrowed, blocked or dilated blood vessels), carotid artery disease (clogged arteries to the brain) and varicose veins (breakdown of collagen in the vein walls that causes damage to veins).

The new facility, located at 4625 N. Lee Highway, has four clinical exam rooms and two diagnostic ultrasound suites.
The Vascular Institute opened in 2015. At his previous surgical group, Chris LeSar, M.D., FACS, found patients would have to wait six to eight weeks to get an appointment. He wanted to shortened that time.
“When you are dealing with vascular issues, sometimes that can be too late,” explained Kevin Lusk, director of public relations and physician outreach.

Patients with blood flow issues may face possible amputation.
“Dr. LeSar has a passion for the prevention of amputation,” Lusk said. “He is committed to vascular care. Our patients usually don’t wait two weeks to get treatment.

“If there is an urgent or stat need, patients are worked in that day or the next day because time is of the essence.”

“It is very rare, he does an amputation. He wants to save limbs and give people their lives back,” Lusk said.

If a procedure is necessary, Dr. LeSar has a lab in the Chattanooga office and can do surgeries there. He also works with Tennova Healthcare-Cleveland to do surgeries and procedures at their facility.

Since 40 percent of his practice was coming from the Cleveland, Polk County, Dayton, McMinn County and Blue Ridge, Ga., area, Dr. LeSar decided to open the Cleveland office to make it more convenient for his patients.

Sharing his passion for better vascular care is Stephanie Sheridan, DNP, who is seeing the patients in the Cleveland office.

“Our practice is very patient focused,” she said. “We try to get patients in and treated quickly, because time is tissue.”

She met Dr. LeSar after writing an article while working on her doctorate on the prevention of amputations in dialysis patients.

Sheridan noted, “We are seeing people who are hurting and in a lot of pain.”

She said many of her patients have lots of pain in the legs, cramping when they walk, pain in the hips and inability to walk any distance.

“My favorite thing to ask them is if they can walk down a Walmart aisle. Most will say, no. I will walk a little bit and stop. This is textbook peripheral artery disease,” she said.

The local office will do initial consultations, usually a referral from another physician. They also do self-referrals from individuals who want a second opinion or have checked out symptoms on the internet and want to have their problems examined by a professional.
With the two ultrasound suites, VIC is able to provide non-invasive testing of blood vessels — arteries and veins — to identify possible problems in a patient’s circulation.

Will Russell, RVT (registered vascular technologist), noted they use the ultrasound to bounce sound waves off tissues. This allows them to look at blood flow through the vessels, look for narrowed areas in the arteries and blood clots in the veins.

Russell said they try to recreate the scenario causing the patient’s symptoms so the diagnostic team can get as much information as possible and a treatment can be developed.
VIC has two surgeons (Dr. LeSar and Joe Coatti, M.D., FACS) and eight nurse practitioners. They are expanding the practice in August to add a third surgeon.

The office is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Call for an appointment at 423-602-2750.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE