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Vascular Surgery

Vascular Surgery

Good Samaritan Hospital Vascular Surgery

The Vascular Surgery team is a highly-specialized team of specialists that treat diseases of the vascular system. We provide total comprehensive vascular care to patients with peripheral vascular diseases.

The team includes specialists in vascular surgery, interventional radiology, vascular anesthesia, wound care, vascular operating room nurses and technicians as well as lymphedema therapists and physical therapists.

Many of the vascular conditions are treated with the use of balloon catheters and stents to improve blood flow without major surgery. These minimally invasive treatments are collectively called endovascular procedures. This results in quicker recovery with less pain.

Three of the most recognized vascular diseases are abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), an enlargement in the largest artery that pushes against the aortic wall, carotid artery disease, a buildup of plaque that can cause a stroke, and peripheral arterial disease, hardening of the arteries that causes a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. Other vascular conditions that are treated at Good Samaritan Hospital include aortic arch conditions, aortoiliac occlusive disease, dialysis access, chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), diabetic vascular disease and lymphedema.

Good Samaritan Hospital has achieved a five-star rating for its performance in Peripheral Vascular Bypass from Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. This achievement is part of new findings and data released by Healthgrades and featured in the Healthgrades 2018 Report to the Nation.

Good Samaritan Hospital is the only hospital in lower New York State and Northern New Jersey to be a five-star recipient for Peripheral Vascular Bypass for two years in a row (2017-2018); only two other hospitals in the entire state of New York received this rating.


What Is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease is any abnormal condition of the blood vessels (arteries and veins). The body uses blood vessels to circulate blood through itself. Problems along this vast network can cause severe disability and death.

Vascular diseases outside the heart can “present” themselves anywhere. The most common vascular diseases are stroke, peripheral artery disease (PAD), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), carotid artery disease (CAD), arteriovenous malformation (AVM), critical limb ischemia (CLI), pulmonary embolism  (blood clots), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), and varicose veins.

Everyone is at risk for vascular disease. With the increase in obesity and Type II diabetes in Americans and as the population ages, vascular diseases are becoming epidemic. PAD alone affects 8.5 million people. It can occur in anyone at any time; affecting men and women equally. Atherosclerosis can begin in adolescence.


Vascular Conditions

Three of the most recognized vascular diseases are abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), an enlargement in the largest artery that pushes against the aortic wall, carotid artery disease, a buildup of plaque that can cause a stroke, and peripheral arterial disease, hardening of the arteries that causes a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. Other vascular conditions that are treated at Good Samaritan Hospital include aortic arch conditions, aortoiliac occlusive disease, arm artery disease, chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), diabetic vascular disease and digital artery conditions.

Most Americans are familiar with heart disease and with the consequences of blockages in the vessels that carry blood to and from the heart. But few people realize that blockages caused by a buildup of plaque and cholesterol affect more than coronary arteries. Arteries throughout the body carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, so blockages can occur in all arteries with serious effects. Three of the most recognized vascular diseases include:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is an enlargement or “bulge” that develops in a weakened area within the largest artery in the abdomen. The pressure generated by each heartbeat pushes against the weakened aortic wall, causing the aneurysm to enlarge. If the AAA remains undetected, the aortic wall continues to weaken, and the aneurysm continues to grow. Eventually, the aneurysm becomes so large, and its wall so weak, that rupture occurs. When this happens there is massive internal bleeding, a situation that is usually fatal. The only way to break this cycle is to find the AAA before it ruptures.

Carotid Artery Disease - Stroke

Carotid arteries occur when the main blood vessels to the brain develop a buildup of plaque caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. When the buildup becomes very severe, it can cause a stroke. A stroke occurs when part of the brain is damaged by these vascular problems; in fact, 80 percent of strokes are “ischemic strokes” where part of the circulation to the brain is cut off, usually due to blockages in the carotid arteries. The process is similar to the buildup of plaque in arteries in the heart that causes heart attacks. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, causes a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues of the body. As these plaques worsen, they reduce essential blood flow to the limbs and can even cause complete blockages of the arteries. Early on, PAD may only cause difficulty walking, but in its most severe forms, it can cause painful foot ulcers, infections, and even gangrene, which could require amputation. People with PAD are three times more likely to die of heart attacks or strokes than those without PAD.

Vascular Treatments

When it comes to treatments for vascular conditions, there is good news. Many vascular conditions are quite manageable, if you see a physician early. Vascular surgery and procedures are improving all the time, and sometimes no surgery is necessary. For example, in the early stages of peripheral arterial disease, the prescription is just to take regular walks. The following treatments are available:

  • Amputation
  • Carotid Endarterectomy
  • Catheter-Directed Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Diabetic Foot Care Dialysis Access
  • Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
  • Endovascular Treatment of an Aortic Dissection
  • Open Surgery Treatment of an Aortic Dissection
  • Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter Line
  • Repair of a Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Surgical Bypass
  • Surgical Bypass for Aortoiliac Occlusive Disease
  • Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair
  • Thrombolytic Therapy

Meet Our Team

The Vascular Surgery team is a highly-specialized team of specialists that treat diseases of the vascular system. The team includes specialists in interventional radiology, vascular anesthesia and wound care, vascular operating room nurses and technicians as well as lymphedema physical therapists.

Michael Schwartz, MD, Chief of Vascular Surgery

Dr. Michael Schwartz is a board-certified vascular surgeon who specializes in Vascular Surgery and Vascular Interpretation. He received his medical degree from University of South Florida College of Medicine and completed his general surgery residency at Montefiore Medical Center / Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY where he was the Chief Resident. Dr. Schwartz also performed his fellowship in vascular surgery at Montefiore Medical Center / Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Schwartz has published extensively and is known for his clinical research in the area of stented graft treatments and procedures. He has been in practice for more than twenty years, with nearly fifteen of those years at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Scott Luchs MD, Director of Radiology, Director of Interventional Radiology

Dr. Luchs is a board-certified diagnostic and interventional radiologist who has been practicing at Good Samaritan Hospital for nearly twenty years. Hailing originally from nearby Englewood NJ, Dr. Luchs went to college at Brandeis University, before completing his Masters in Medical Science and MD at Boston University Medical School. He performed his surgical internship at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at Norwalk Hospital/Yale University in New Haven, CT. Dr. Luchs returned to Boston University to perform his vascular and interventional radiology fellowship. He specializes in interventional and vascular radiology and has been working in collaboration with Dr. Schwartz for over twenty years.

Neal Kurtti MD, Vascular Anesthesia

Dr. Kurtti is a board certified Anesthesiologist who has created and implemented a nationally recognized program which monitors and evaluates the quality of anesthesia care delivered to every patient at all of the facilities we provide services. His Performance Improvement Program is ranked within the top 1% of performance improvement programs in the country.  Dr. Kurtti graduated from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.  He received his fellowship and served as Chief Resident, Cardiovascular Anesthesiology at New York University Medical Center. Dr. Kurtti also holds a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiovascular Anesthesiology from Harvard Medical School, The Children’s Hospital. He is a member of the trauma committee at Good Samaritan Hospital and a contributing author in the textbook "Trauma: Anesthesia and Intensive Care."