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UCLA Medical Center

The UCLA Gonda (Goldschmied) Vascular Center offers a continuum of care for patients with peripheral arterial disease. Patients with lymphedema, non-healing wounds, venous insufficiency, varicose veins, thoracic outlet syndrome, and dialysis patients requiring shunts and grafts are also treated.

Indications for Referral

Patient with diagnosed or suspected peripheral vascular disease or patients with venous disease, lymphedema or ulceration of the lower extremities are candidates for referral to the UCLA Gonda (Goldschmied) Vascular Center.

Program Experience

The UCLA Gonda Vascular Center was established in 1996 to provide focused, highly specialized assessment, treatment, and follow-up for patients who would benefit from a full range of coordinated services in a single location. In addition to a core team of vascular surgeons, the center incorporates the skills of interventional radiologists, plastic surgeons, neurologists, and cardiologists.

Program Approach

Patient care in the center emphasizes prevention and quality of life, components that often play an important role in determining the course of treatment. As a result of center research and teaching goals, the newest treatment modalities are available, including clinical trials for new medications, emerging surgical techniques and materials, and promising preventive strategies for blood pressure and cholesterol management and for smoking cessation.

A vascular surgeon is available to see patients Monday through Friday. The Center can accommodate same-day appointments for urgent cases. A vascular surgeon is on call 24 hours a day for emergencies.

During the initial consultation, patients undergo a thorough assessment by a vascular surgeon to confirm or establish the diagnosis, determine the extent and site(s) of the blockage, and identify or rule out additional complicating medical factors. Noninvasive testing with vascular ultrasound and duplex scanning are employed as part of the initial assessment and are later used for patient monitoring. Quality of life assessment is also performed.

Center staff advocate a conservative approach to care, monitoring patients and administering noninvasive treatments and lifestyles counseling until such time as surgical intervention may be indicated. Surgical revascularization is achieved through the use of synthetic grafts, vein grafts and endarterectomy.

Patients requiring further assessment are often scheduled for angiography. The problem can sometimes be treated simultaneously with balloon dilation or the placement of endovascular stents.

For patients with non-healing wounds, the center coordinates with the Gonda (Goldschmied) Hyperbaric Medicine Center. New treatments for patients with lymphedema are also available.

All care is coordinated by a specially trained nurse practitioner and case manager who also participates in patient education and counseling to effect lifestyle change. Since peripheral vascular disease is a chronic disorder, center staff recommend on going monitoring in the center (at least twice yearly) in conjunction with follow-up by the patient's primary care physician.

Approximately one-half of referred patients suffer from peripheral arterial vascular insufficiency manifested by claudication or non-healing ulcers. Other commonly referred vascular conditions include abdominal aortic aneurysm and other peripheral aneurysms, and carotid artery disease.

Referring physicians are consulted by telephone about treatment plans and sent written reports and test results. Regular patient conferences with center team members are open to referring physicians. All patients are entered into a registry for long-term study and evaluation of treatment techniques.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Gonda (Goldschmied) Vascular Center at UCLA is to provide a quality state-of-the-art continuum of healthcare to vascular patients and to develop and maintain an environment in which educational and scientific programs concerning vascular disease can flourish.

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