Dr. Joseph Ricotta, a nationally and internationally recognized vascular surgeon at Atlanta’s Northside Hospital, recently traveled to Poland to perform the country’s first ever implant of a modified customized stent for two patients with thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAA). The procedures took place March 3-6, 2014 at the Medical University of Warsaw and the Medical University of Lublin, Poland.
Dr. Ricotta is the medical director of vascular services at Northside Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute and the chair of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy at Northside Vascular Surgery. He is the first surgeon in the United States to receive FDA approval to create and implant custom-modified endografts for high-risk patients with TAAA.
Dr. Ricotta has gained vast knowledge and experience working at the nation’s leading vascular surgery institutes, such as Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, and Cleveland Clinic. Physicians from all over the world come to Northside to observe and learn from him. In October 2013, two vascular surgeons from Poland did just that. After returning home, they identified two patients who qualified for Dr. Ricotta’s procedure and then invited him to Poland to perform them himself.
“When I visited Dr. Ricotta at Northside Hospital, I looked at operations of modified stent-grafts in patients with juxtarenal aneurysm as well as thoracoabdominal aneurysm. Although the procedures were extremely complicated all of them were successful. Dr Ricotta agreed to come to Poland to share his skills and experience,” said Dr. Robert Proczka, department of surgery, Medical University of Warsaw. “In Europe as well as in Poland, there are fenestrated grafts on the market. Unfortunately, availability is difficult and the number of patients with juxtarenal/pararenal aneurysm is going up. Especially in acute cases, the vascular surgeon/ interventionist has no possibility to get a fenestrated graft. I would like to begin and develop the program of ‘Surgeon-modified stentgrafts’ in my practice and in Poland.”