The UC Davis Vascular Center celebrated its 10th anniversary Sept. 29 with an event to recognize the surgeons, physicians, nurses, imaging specialists, vascular technologists and clinic staff who provide comprehensive care for patients with blood vessel disease.
Officially launched in 2006 with the recruitment of Medical Director John Laird, a national leader in percutaneous vascular interventions, the center united UC Davis experts who treat peripheral artery disease (PAD). The condition, which affects 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 50, occurs when blood flow to limbs is reduced due to the buildup of fatty deposits in vessels.
UC Davis’ goal in establishing the center was to increase early identification and treatment of PAD and reduce its significant consequences, including heart attack, stroke, gangrene and amputation.
“We brought diverse specialists together under one roof to provide the best and most efficient care,” Laird said at the event. “Since then, we have emerged as national research leaders, teachers and the ‘go to’ place for high-quality care, especially for those with complex vascular disease.”
National leaders in PAD and much more
Today, Laird and his team have the expertise and facilities to treat and conduct research on all disease-related, traumatic and congenital vascular conditions. Some of the center's major accomplishments include:
- Clinical trials on the latest stents and balloons for opening and healing blocked vessels
- A unique operating room fully equipped for treating patients who require a combination of endovascular and open surgical procedures
- Treatments for rare vascular conditions such as thoracic outlet syndrome and fibromuscular dysplasia
- A stem cell intervention for critical limb ischemia, or advanced-stage PAD, which can generate new, healthy vessels and reduce the need for amputations
- Leadership in teaching the latest techniques at professional gatherings of cardiovascular specialists, including several live case presentations
- A deep commitment to developing the next generation of vascular specialists through a combined general and vascular surgery residency program and training partnerships with regional hospitals such as David Grant USAF Medical Center
- One of just two programs in California certified by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for the evaluation and treatment of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency
“We clearly have a lot to be proud of,” Laird said, “and I am really looking forward to what we accomplish in the next 10 years.”