Patient Testimonials and Reviews
A trip to the eye doctor for blurred vision Sharyn was experiencing led to the discovery of carotid artery stenosis in her neck, a condition treated via transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) by Dr. Joseph Ricotta, National Medical Director, Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy at Tenet Healthcare and a specialist in this type of TCAR treatment. Read Sharyn’s Story (below). Watch Sharyn’s Video Testimonial ➨ https://youtu.be/cwqF5QkIImY
I was at home straightening up the house and all of a sudden started seeing double of everything. I was scared and laid down until it went away. A week later, the double vision returned. I decided I should get my eyes checked and made an appointment at my eye institute. The neuro-ophthalmologist ran a series of tests and sent them to a university health system in Miami. There, a vascular neurologist found that one of my carotid arteries in my neck had severe carotid artery blockage, but the tests for diplopia, or double vision, came back negative and I never experienced double vision again. Luckily, I found vascular surgeon, Dr. Joseph Ricotta, who is an innovator in the treatment of carotid disease and is the first in Florida to perform the TCAR (transcarotid artery revascularization) procedure for treatment of this ailment.
Before my meeting with Dr. Ricotta, and since my carotid artery stenosis was asymptomatic, I thought following watchful waiting would suffice until the percentage of blockage warranted surgery. My daughter and son, my husband Jerry and our grandchildren, were upset that I was just going to wait, they were concerned I was going to let it go. In my mind, I was healthy and fit. During my consultation at the Prime Vascular Institute in Delray Beach, Dr. Ricotta took the time to explain everything. Dr. Ricotta let me know that plaque was building inside of one of my carotid arteries and needed removal because of a high risk of having a future stroke. In addition, Dr. Ricotta described in detail the benefits of TCAR compared to the standard invasive carotid endarterectomy and traditional stenting through the groin.
Dr. Ricotta said the TCAR procedure is a safer, faster, less invasive option. Patients have a much faster recovery with better outcomes. Dr. Ricotta explained the minimally invasive TCAR procedure with access to the carotid artery, through a small incision above the clavicle. Then, Dr. Ricotta inserts a pliable sheath into the carotid artery and links it to a component reversing blood flow away from the brain in an effort to avert, by use of filter, any clot forming plaque from traveling to the brain. During the TCAR, Dr. Ricotta and his team filter the blood and then return it to the body through an additional sheath in the femoral vein of the thigh.
As the TCAR procedure progresses and blood flow continues to be reversed, Dr. Ricotta uses a neuroprotection system to perform a balloon angioplasty and stenting opening blood flow in the veins. Once Dr. Ricotta places the stent to eliminate the plaque from the carotid artery, he turns the reversal flow mechanism off and blood flows back freely to the brain into its intended path free from stroke inducing plaque.
I happened to be Dr. Ricotta’s 200th TCAR patient, an impressive milestone. Prior to having my TCAR procedure, my husband Jerry and I found it reassuring that Dr. Ricotta’s success with the TCAR procedure helped Delray Medical Center become a National TCAR Center of Excellence every year since 2018. In addition, Dr. Ricotta holds the recognition of TCAR Clinical Operator of Excellence. I had my TCAR procedure performed by Dr. Ricotta and the care I received from him and at Delray Medical Center could not have been better.
My husband Jerry said I am very anxious when it comes to surgery and he is right, I was fearful and nervous at first while contemplating having this procedure. Jerry asked Dr. Ricotta my request of being out (unconscious) even before they did the surgical prep. Dr. Ricotta and his team honored this request, and even prior to going in the operating room, I was already out. I saw nothing and that was important to me. The procedure went extremely well. I was so thankful I felt nothing. Afterward, instead of the old style of stitching up the wound, Dr. Ricotta used a type of medical glue on my incision area, which resulted in less scarring.
During follow-up at Dr. Ricotta’s Prime Vascular Institute office in Delray Beach, the staff was very courteous, helped us with convenient appointment times, and were very friendly, willing to help with anything I needed.
Jerry and I definitely made the right decision in choosing Dr. Ricotta for my carotid artery care. Family is everything to both Jerry and I, We are so excited this health scare is behind me because we can now focus on being great grandparents to our great grandchild born after my surgery. Now with this health ailment behind me we also look forward to resuming traveling. In the past, we had done lot of traveling to places like France, Israel, China, Italy and Hawaii. Thanks to Dr. Ricotta I am able to look forward to spending time with my family, traveling and most importantly living a better quality of life.
- This testimonial reflects the experience and outcome of this patient. Actual results will vary.
During a business trip to South Florida far away from his home in Bogota, Colombia, Ricardo began experiencing radiating pains in his stomach and back. Dr. Joseph Ricotta, National Medical Director for Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy at Tenet Healthcare performed endovascular repair of a ruptured aortic aneurysm with stent graft surgery at Delray Medical Center to save Ricardo’s life.
While in South Florida for a business trip, far away from my home in Bogota, Colombia, I began to experience symptoms of what I thought was diverticulitis. I went to the emergency room (ER) at a local hospital where the ER doctor and staff discovered I had an abdominal aortic aneurysm. At the time, they recommended a watchful waiting approach was best until the aneurysm reached a size where surgery was necessary. I returned to Colombia to follow-up with my doctors as well as a vascular specialist in Colombia. Five months later, I needed to travel back to Florida once again to close a business deal but not without before first having the authorization and being considered no risk at all to travel from my doctors in Colombia. I returned to South Florida and while staying at an apartment in Boca Raton with my wife, I began feeling unwell again so she recommended I go back to the ER.
I was having shooting pains along my left side radiating from my stomach to my back. Once again, the ER staff was able to rule out diverticulitis but they did find out there was a problem with my aneurysm. The ER and hospital I was at did not have a vascular specialist so they transferred me via ambulance to Delray Medical Center. I arrived there at the ER and the medical staff told me I needed to have surgery immediately. At that time, I met Dr. Joseph Ricotta, medical director of vascular surgery and endovascular surgery for Delray Medical Center and their entire hospital system. Dr. Ricotta explained to both my wife and I that immediate surgery was necessary because my aneurysm could rupture at any time.
Dr. Ricotta performed endovascular repair of a ruptured aortic aneurysm with stent graft surgery to save my life at Delray Medical Center. If I did not have this surgery in such a timely manner, I could have died. After surgery, I was quickly on the road to recovery. To this day, it is hard to believe that after this type of extensive surgery I only spent two days in the hospital. Just one month after surgery, I was in excellent condition and able to do everything I could do prior to surgery.
I am following up with appointments at Dr. Ricotta’s office every six months to monitor my health. His office staff is very accommodating and in helping, me with everything I need.
During my first visit to Dr. Ricotta’s Prime Vascular Institute office, my son come with me because he wanted to meet the man who provided the surgery that saved his father’s life. At the end of my office visit with Dr. Ricotta, my 10 year-old son got up, put out his hand and said, excuse me Dr. Ricotta I just want to shake your hand , you are my hero , you saved my Daddy’s life.
We are grateful with God as a family, for ending up in the hands of Dr. Ricotta and the care he provided to me. In Dr. Ricotta, I really feel like I ended up with the best doctor to treat my ailment. Dr. Ricotta is a kind man, and in my eyes, one of the best human beings you can find on earth.
- This testimonial reflects the experience and outcome of this patient. Actual results will vary.
Walking through the airport, I began to suffer terrible pain. I grabbed my chest gasping for breath, could not breathe and thought for sure it was a heart attack. At Delray Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Ricotta was able to dissolve the clots causing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism and provide care to me for a deep vein thrombosis condition. I am very grateful to Dr. Ricotta. He saved my life.
I was returning from a safari trip with friends to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and after a 19-hour airplane trip began to suffer sharp pains in my chest. Walking through the airport, I began to suffer terrible pain. I grabbed my chest gasping for breath, could not breathe and thought for sure it was a heart attack. However, I did not have any type of heart condition and shortly thereafter my symptoms somewhat subsided. We were in Fort Lauderdale and my friends wanted to call 911 or take me to the hospital. I persuaded my friends to grab the luggage and take me from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport directly to Delray Medical Center because I knew Dr. Ricotta was the doctor who could help me.
When we arrived at Delray Medical Center, they took me right in, did all the scans, tests and found out that both of my lungs were full of clots causing a pulmonary embolism. In my right leg, I was also suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which meant my leg veins were full of blood clots. The medical staff started me on intravenous care to prevent more blood clots. I closed my eyes, not even three minutes later I re-opened them and there was Dr. Ricotta. He said hello to me and I said, ‘Oh my God! Dr. Ricotta it’s you!’
Dr. Ricotta asked me what I was doing there and I told him quickly what happened and about just returning from Africa. Without a pause, Dr. Ricotta informed me that he was going to finish up with one surgery and then start my procedure. I asked Dr. Ricotta if I was dying and he said, ‘no you are not dying. I am going to fix you.’ Next thing I know, just a few hours later, I was in recovery and the nurse came over to me to answer any questions.
Dr. Ricotta told me after the procedure that he placed two catheters, one in each lung, through a small puncture in the groin to dissolve the blood clots using a specialized EkoSonic™ Endovascular System (EKOS) which employs ultrasound pressure and acoustic streaming as well as delivers the clot-busting medicine tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The procedure took less than 30 minutes and the following day my blood clots were gone and I was able to leave the hospital. My chest pain and breathing difficulty resolved immediately and I recovered quickly and had follow-up appointments at Dr. Ricotta’s Prime Vascular Institute office in Delray Beach.
I am very grateful to Dr. Ricotta. He saved my life. Today, I still go to him for vascular and endovascular care for all my veins and arteries. Dr. Ricotta had his staff follow-up with scans and ultrasounds to make sure I do not develop any more blood clots. He sent me to a hematologist oncologist to find out if genetically my body was producing these blood clots or if they are provoked from flying on an airplane and sitting down too long.
Dr. Ricotta continues to follow up on my leg care. His office staff is also wonderful. They are a fabulous group, every one of them and they are so efficient. I make my appointments in advance for every six months so Dr. Ricotta and his vascular team can check my veins and arteries, which gives me a peace of mind and keeps me healthy.
Dr. Ricotta is just marvelous. I have sent him numerous patients already because I have friends also in their 70s as well as some in their 80s who live in my adult community at Villaggio in west Lake Worth. When anyone mentions their legs are hurting or if they are having other vascular problems and may need a vascular doctor, I tell them you have to go see Dr. Joseph Ricotta, he is in Delray Beach and he is wonderful. Dr. Ricotta has always been patient with me, he does not rush me, he listens and if I have questions, Dr. Ricotta takes the time to answer me. I tell Dr. Ricotta that I am his biggest fan. When he walks into the room, I tell Dr. Ricotta that he is my hero! He literally saved my life.
My experience at Delray Medical Center was wonderful as well. At Delray Medical Center, they acted so quickly because I was so critical. In addition, Dr. Ricotta is always so caring and careful in directing treatments for my conditions. Dr. Ricotta is just so dedicated to the care he provides to our community. He is fantastic! Additionally, Dr. Ricotta knows all of the latest procedures, robotics and he is also a professor teaching surgery at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton. I sing his praises and let anyone who talks about or mentions him how great Dr. Ricotta is in providing vascular care.
Dr. Ricotta quickly discovered that I had a blood clot in my leg and offered a new technology, the Tack Endovascular System implant which he used to repair a tear in the inside lining of one of my leg’s blood vessels. Using this minimal repair device, Dr. Ricotta was able to provide treatment in-turn healing my leg ailment. Thanks to Dr. Ricotta and his help fixing my leg pain problem I am able to get my life together and do things naturally again.
My primary care doctor referred me to Dr. Joseph Ricotta for a leg ailment I was suffering from due to blockages in my legs. At the time, I had been recovering from open-heart surgery and started to experience severe pain in my right leg while doing my prescribed exercises. I had to discontinue therapy due to this extreme pain in my leg. Dr. Ricotta quickly discovered that I had a blood clot in my leg and offered a new technology, the Tack Endovascular System implant which he used to repair a tear in the inside lining of one of my leg’s blood vessels. Using this minimal repair device, Dr. Ricotta was able to provide treatment in-turn healing my leg ailment.
Prior to Dr. Ricotta performing this procedure, my foot and knee were bothering me and I am happy to say that pain has subsided. It is scary to assume but had the plaque and blood clot in my right leg had not been treated my artery could have completely closed off. I could have lost my leg. Dr. Ricotta cleaned out the blockages in my leg and I was on my way to recovery.
Prior to my procedure when I first met Dr. Ricotta at his Delray Beach office, I immediately noticed something familiar about his last name. I asked Dr. Ricotta if he had any connection to anyone in Buffalo, New York, and he told me how his grandfather, Dr. Joseph Ricotta was a doctor in Buffalo. I told Dr. Ricotta, ‘your grandfather delivered two of my babies, my daughter, Joelle and my son, Carl.’ Dr. Ricotta’s grandfather ran a very professional medical practice out of his home with a very organized office thanks to his grandmother who took care of all the clerical and administrative duties. His grandparents were very nice people just as Dr. Ricotta is with his patients.
I think very highly of Dr. Joseph Ricotta because he was very concerned about my leg but he also gave me confidence because he knew exactly what he was doing to fix my problem. He was able to relieve my severe pain and get me out of the hospital. It was a tough situation for me and Dr. Ricotta quickly took care of it. I am happy with the result thanks to Dr. Ricotta.
I had the Tack Endovascular System implant procedure with Dr. Ricotta at his office-based laboratory (IBL), which is a very nice, convenient venue with a wonderful staff. Dr. Ricotta’s staff knew I was a little nervous due to my upcoming procedure so they helped me be at ease by being delightful, taking the time to answer all of my questions and being very attentive to me. Just a few hours after Dr. Ricotta finished the procedure, I got my discharge papers and was able to return home. Today, I am able to walk effortlessly without pain. In addition, I am looking forward to getting back on my stationary bike as well as starting some light walking outside. Thanks to Dr. Ricotta and his help fixing my leg pain problem I am able to get my life together and do things naturally again.
My wife Sue, my son Dave and I are really appreciative of Dr. Ricotta’s care and grateful to have a vascular surgeon of Dr. Ricotta’s expertise and experience right here in our community.
While visiting our North Carolina home my primary care doctor discovered I had a blockage in one of the carotid arteries in my neck. Upon returning to our home in Boca Raton, my son Dave Aronberg, the State Attorney for Palm Beach County, saw an article in the newspaper featuring Dr. Joseph Ricotta and a new minimally-invasive carotid artery treatment he brought to South Florida. The article pointed out that some carotid artery blockages may not require open surgery to treat this type of ailment, but, rather a minimally-invasive treatment through the patient’s arteries. A friend of mine, who’s active with Delray Medical Center, also recommended Dr. Ricotta. I made an appointment with Dr. Ricotta and he said he would monitor the blockage first, watchful waiting, if you will, to see if the blockage increased.
As soon as I met with Dr. Ricotta I had total confidence in his plan for my care. After follow-up appointments over the next year, the blockage increased; Dr. Ricotta said that it was time to schedule a procedure for the carotid artery blockage. It was important to have my carotid artery ailment taken care of because if left untreated, it would have caused me to have a stroke. Dr. Ricotta was conservative with his initial approach while the artery blockage was still safe, but maintained a close eye on the situation. When it climbed higher, Dr. Ricotta was very quick and straight forward in explaining the need for a TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) procedure.
I had the TCAR operation at Delray Medical Center and was presently surprised to experience no pain or discomfort before, during or after the procedure. It’s more discomforting having your teeth cleaned than having this TCAR operation. I was admitted to the hospital, Dr. Ricotta performed the procedure, I stayed overnight and then he discharged me the next day.
The TCAR operation Dr. Ricotta performed was very quick; he was able to perform it in around 30-minutes. He called my wife Sue immediately afterwards because at the time the procedure was performed only patients were allowed in the hospital. Dr. Ricotta took the time to call my wife and explain my outcome and prognosis. Dr. Ricotta has a very warm demeanor and goes above and beyond for his patients.
I did have this procedure during the COVID-19 Pandemic but Dr. Ricotta and his Tenet Florida Cardiovascular Care office staff informed me of all the safety protocols in place as safeguards against the virus in both the Delray Beach office and the hospital. At Delray Medical Center, the staff there did a very good job protecting me and the process was very organized including a special entrance for patients having procedures. I had the entire carotid artery testing needed to evaluate the blood flow to the artery before my procedure a well as afterward at Dr. Ricotta’s office, and their many safety protocols to keep patients safe from the virus, were evident there too.
Today, I’m feeling great and back to playing golf. My wife Sue, my son Dave and I are really appreciative of Dr. Ricotta’s care and grateful to have a vascular surgeon of Dr. Ricotta’s expertise and experience right here in our community.
Dr. Ricotta is committed to my care and is constantly evaluating and anticipating ways to provide greater solutions.
Since November 2015, I have had recurring pain due to narrowing arteries in both my legs. Before I found Dr. Joseph Ricotta, I had numerous angioplasties and several major surgeries. I felt the surgeon was not committed to the care of my legs to the degree necessary. After enduring these surgeries, continuous pain from permanent nerve damage, and the loss of two major arteries, I decided to make a change. I spent a considerable amount of time researching vascular surgeons and believed that I would have to travel out of state to receive the expert help required to save my legs. I looked into institutions like the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic and a leading New York hospital, but to my surprise found Dr. Ricotta right here in Delray Beach where I reside. Dr. Ricotta’s credentials stood out among a vast array of physicians, both nationally and internationally, who specialized in the treatment of vascular ailments. I eagerly made an appointment.
Dr. Ricotta wasted no time in starting treatment of my peripheral arterial disease (PAD), the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs. When leg arteries clog up it causes pain. At one point it got so bad I couldn’t even walk. I have almost lost my left leg several times. Peripheral arterial disease is a very serious condition because when blood does not reach the muscles, the muscles cannot function and cause immobility. In one of my legs, due to a previous surgery, I only have one artery remaining. Faced with this challenge, Dr. Ricotta’s limb salvage procedures were successful in improving the health of my leg. If I had gone to Dr. Ricotta sooner, I would have been spared much pain and the trials of several unsuccessful surgeries. That is why I feel compelled to share my experience. Thanks to Dr. Ricotta, I still have my leg.
In my most recent vascular procedure performed by Dr. Ricotta at Delray Medical Center, I expressed my concerns of being treated in a hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He assured me that my procedure would be performed in a separate part of the hospital isolated from the COVID area. For this procedure, I was in and out of the hospital in a couple of days, which greatly contributed to my peace of mind. After Dr. Ricotta cleaned out my artery, my circulation was restored.
Pre-surgery and follow up appointments at Dr. Ricotta’s office in Delray Beach were nothing short of excellent. He and his staff were top-notch in the management of my vascular care and throughout the course of my treatment. For the safety of all patients, everyone at his office wore masks. They even had a safety protocol in place so that patients could call from their vehicles from the parking lot upon their arrival. Patients were then called back when it was clear for them to enter the building in order to maintain social distancing. These procedures did so much to assure me that my safety was their top priority.
Dr. Ricotta took the time to thoroughly explain everything to me about my care so that I was well-informed and knew exactly what was going on with my procedure. With Dr. Ricotta you are not left in the dark and know exactly where you stand. He is very responsive and considerate. Even when I had questions after I left his office, he called me back to provide the answers I needed.
The procedures I have undergone have had minimal impact on my work load and have allowed me to fully maintain my responsibilities in business development sourcing and securing multi-million dollar developer contracts. My position requires me to be at the computer for many hours which can be very uncomfortable. I am also an author and leg pain can definitely be a distraction when writing. With less leg pain, I am more able to focus on work and my writing. In addition to my work and writing, I am also involved in ministries at Emmanuel Catholic Church in Delray Beach.
All of this would not be possible if not for Dr. Ricotta’s excellent care. I have only minimal discomfort in my legs which previously were always in pain. I also suffer from the side effects from statin medication which I take to curtail blockages in my arteries and/or blood clots. Dr. Ricotta is doing everything in his power to prolong the quality of my life and I am extremely grateful to him for that. I have faith in God, but I am a realist. This is an ongoing process because leg blockages can happen randomly for an assortment of reasons. I feel secure knowing that Dr. Ricotta is committed to my care and is constantly evaluating and anticipating ways to provide greater solutions. Because of my faith, I am convinced Dr. Ricotta, in partnership with the Blessed Virgin Mary, will continue to provide for me and send all I need through prayers to her Son, Jesus Christ.
I knew I was in the right place when after our first visit, Dr. Ricotta turned to me before he left the room and said with a depth of compassion for what I had been though, “Mr. Minutoli, I wish you had come to me sooner.” Now, looking forward, I am so glad to be under Dr. Ricotta’s professional vascular care.
Armando Minutoli, is a published author of, among others, the non-fiction book, “Medjugorje, A Pilgrim’s Journey,” a biography of his investigation into the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Yugoslavia (now Bosnia-Herzegovina), two books of fiction, “The Hester Street Kids,” about the New York Mafia, and “Schism: Something is Amiss in Heaven Again!” a religious fantasy about two people who meet in purgatory and together go to the heavenly realm. Mr. Minutoli also is an active member of his home parish, Emmanuel Catholic Church in Delray Beach, FL, where he serves as a minister of consolation, Eucharist, usher, Sunday school teacher for third graders, and drumming instructor for the parish Firesticks Drumline. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and supports charitable fundraising activities, while writing and maintaining the council newsletter and prayer request list.
Dr. Ricotta is an amazing vascular surgeon who put me on a path towards better health.
Over the years I have had various vascular problems in my legs. I was under the care of a doctor who had found an aneurysm in my right leg. With watchful waiting, the doctor took a conservative approach and thought the aneurysm would go away; it didn’t. Another one of my doctors suggested I get a second opinion on my leg ailments from Dr. Joseph Ricotta, a vascular surgeon. This doctor highly recommended Dr. Ricotta so I made an appointment to see him. I’m glad I did because Dr. Ricotta is an amazing vascular surgeon who put me on a path towards better health.
At first, I was apprehensive about going into a doctor’s office as well as the hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Knowing I had a history of vascular problems in my legs motivated me to make the appointments, have the surgery and maintain my follow-up care. With all of the safety protocols in place at Dr. Ricotta’s Tenet Florida Cardiovascular Care office in Delray Beach and at Delray Medical Center, I became less anxious. First, I went to Dr. Ricotta’s office for vascular disease testing. During his analysis, Dr. Ricotta found I had artery blockage in my right leg due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
I remember arriving at Dr. Ricotta’s office for my appointment and the social distancing guidelines were already in place. Dr. Ricotta’s staff made it clear patients wouldn’t be allowed into his office until their exact appointment time. During my appointment as well as at follow-up appointments at his office, all of Dr. Ricotta’s staff was wearing protective masks, they took my temperature upon entrance and I was seen in a timely manner. The office is very nice inside and the staff has been very attentive with any of my requests or needs.
After my office visit, I had a vascular procedure to fix my right leg blockage performed by Dr. Ricotta at Delray Medical Center. During follow-up testing at his office, Dr. Ricotta diagnosed the aneurysm in the right side of my groin. It turns out I was suffering from a potentially life-threatening femoral pseudoaneurysm in my right leg and would need to undergo an additional procedure at the hospital. Dr. Ricotta removed the aneurysm with a small incision and repaired my leg. My leg has healed nicely.
One of the best decisions I have made was not delaying my vascular care. I’m glad I had these procedures completed. Dr. Ricotta said if I had waited the aneurysm could’ve burst. If the aneurysm bursts or ruptures, it can be life-threatening. It was a dangerous thing so at that point, I decided I’m not going to wait or delay care.
I think Dr. Ricotta is a wonderful doctor. Before the surgery he explained everything to me. Dr. Ricotta is caring and a really nice guy. He seemed to handle my leg blockage and aneurysm surgery with ease. I wouldn’t hesitate to highly recommend him to others.
Even though he has a busy schedule, I appreciated that Dr. Ricotta took the time to make sure all off my questions were answered. Dr. Ricotta still takes the time to communicate with the patient. He is an amazing doctor.
One week before I was going to get married, I had chest pain and heartburn followed by a flutter in my chest. It was lunchtime while I was at work and when I bent down to grab my lunchbox I had a felling like I was going to faint. My mom came to pick me up. Knowing that Delray Medical Center is the best hospital in the area for heart care I told my mom to drive me there.
She took me to the emergency room and when the hospital staff noticed my condition I was rushed back and then admitted immediately. Initially, the medical staff performed tests to see if I had suffered a heart attack. they performed some blood tests, then a nuclear medicine scan followed by a CAT scan. Numerous blood clots were found to be traveling through different parts of my body.
The biggest blood clot I had was a deadly pulmonary embolism approaching my lungs and heart. I was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) where Dr. Joseph Ricotta met with me at 4 o’clock in the morning. My fiancé never left me at the hospital. We were due to be married in less than two weeks.
In the operating room, during a one-hour procedure Dr. Ricotta was able to intravenously perform a bloodless medicine emergency procedure to destroy the pulmonary embolism. Dr. Ricotta was able to gain access to the pulmonary embolism near my lungs and heart by going through the arteries in my groin area. During the procedure, Dr. Ricotta was able to maneuver a drug eluting catheter-based stent up to the area near my heart to access the huge clot pushing up against my heart. Once the catheter was in place, he used it to break up the embolism.
Dr. Ricotta put me at ease. He is very knowledgeable and explained his treatment plan before he started. The team in the room seemed very confident; they were calm like they had done this before. The procedure was painless. I just couldn’t move while Dr. Ricotta was treating my pulmonary embolism. I am fortunate to be alive.
On Tuesday, I was admitted to the hospital, Wednesday morning Dr. Ricotta treated my pulmonary embolism, in turn, saving my life and by Saturday I was sitting at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding. The next Saturday I got married!
After the surgery, Dr. Ricotta treated an additional small blood clot in my leg. At a follow-up appointment for an ultrasound at Dr. Ricotta’s office, the blood clot in my leg was gone. I was able to get married right on schedule. Dr. Ricotta took very good care of me. He was excellent. Throughout the entire process, Dr. Ricotta was very patient and easy to understand. Today, everything is great and I am blood clot free!
Back in 1964, I spent more than a month at Sister’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY. I was pregnant and hemorrhaging when Dr. Joseph John Ricotta saved my life. My baby passed away but I know I have an Angel up there. Dr. Joseph John Ricotta treated me like I was his only patient. For over a month, he took care of me and after I was discharged in late March 1964, he would call me to see how I was doing.
Fast-forward 54 years later and his grandson, Dr. Joseph John Ricotta II, treated me in Delray Beach, FL for peripheral arterial disease which causes blockages in the arteries of the legs. Dr. Joseph John Ricotta II, the vascular surgeon I see today in Delray Beach, performed lower extremity angiograms on both legs with stenting and ballooning. Without Dr. Joseph Ricotta I, the grandfather, Dr. Joseph John Ricotta II aka Dr. Joseph Ricotta, the grandson and God, I wouldn’t be here.
Recently, I developed pains in my legs and I went to the doctor and they referred me to Dr. Joseph Ricotta in Delray Beach. I never even thought of the name until I saw Dr. Joseph Ricotta’s features. Dark eyes and a smile, that’s what made think of Dr. Joe (Dr. Joseph John Ricotta I) from Buffalo.
Dr. Joseph Ricotta’s attitude reminded me of his grandfather’s. The first time I saw him, I said if you’re half of good as your grandfather, I’m going to have a friend. He is fantastic. I’m really very happy with him. I love being with him, his office staff is really great. They know me when I come in now. It was so cute because I first met him months ago and the first thing I remember was one of the physician assistants or a nurse in the office was passing by and he opened the door and said, my grandfather took care of this woman.
The staff knew that his grandfather took care of one his patients. He is just so thrilled about that because you’re talking Buffalo, New York, and you’re talking Florida, that’s a long distance. If it was in the same city it would be a different story. I think I was the second person who Dr. Joseph Ricotta ever met who his grandfather took care of. I remember Dr. Joseph Ricotta saying, “Wow! That’s my grandfather!” And I remember the look on his face.
His grandfather to me had a heart of gold. He was there for me all the time and for everything. I liked him as a doctor and a friend. He was there for me all the time. I have his grandson now. I think the cutest thing was when I had the surgery at Delray Medical Center right in the operating room he announces to everybody, my grandfather took care of her. That was 54 years ago. I have always had Dr. Joe from Buffalo in my heart. He was so special to me. All my friends knew about him, my sisters knew about him, my daughter and all my children knew about him. When my daughter was a teenager she had to go see him a couple of times for an ailment and she was OK.
After an initial visit used to discover the extent of artery blockages, at Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, Dr. Ricotta put two stents in the left leg and one stent in the right leg to open up the blocked artery. My condition improved after the treatment.
My tired and heavy leg syndrome went on for two years. I figured it was just part of my physical job at the time. Denver was my hometown but I didn’t have family there, and my girlfriend was living here in South Florida so I booked a one-way airline ticket. I was prone to having clogged arteries so peripheral arterial disease (PAD) became a reality for me. When I changed altitudes my heavy leg syndromes become much more pronounced. My legs hurt so badly. The first noticeable symptom was my right big toe swelled up. I soaked it to try and relieve the swelling. Then, it happened to my left big toe which went numb and the toe next to it became completely numb.
I am a diabetic, I know about neuropathy because I research the symptoms. My girlfriend said I needed to make a doctor’s appointment so I went to my primary care doctor. My left leg specifically was always cold to the point I would have to put on long sleeves and sweatpants inside the air-conditioned house during the summertime. After 10 minutes of standing or walking, my legs were in pain. I knew something wasn’t right.
I wasn’t even able to go grocery shopping because after five minutes in the store I would be in so much pain I would have to leave and go back home to sit or lie down. After a year of visiting my primary care physician over this ailment I still didn’t have an answer or relief. I couldn’t work; I felt like a burden and was so frustrated. Mentally it starts to play on you. Your girl is asking you to do things you just can’t do.
My girlfriend knew I was struggling, she called me and said, I found a doctor and I sent you the link. I looked over the link for Dr. Joseph Ricotta and checked him out. I was so glad to go see the big guy (Dr. Ricotta). I researched a couple of other doctors but I saw Dr. Ricotta’s background and experience that meant a lot to me. He’s saving people’s lives. He told me I made it just in time. A cut or injury to my left leg and it wouldn’t heal.
I said I am going to try this guy. I had all of my symptoms written down for Dr. Ricotta because I had been chronicalizing. I went into Dr. Ricotta’s office in Delray Beach and I met Jessica Bruno, Dr. Ricotta’s PA (physician’s assistant). She and I had a little powwow and I felt comfortable. She checked my pulses, the carotid arteries and got down to my legs and said hmm… Jessica noticed a very weak pulse in one of my legs. She immediately scheduled me for an ultrasound.
I tried to walk just two blocks and my legs started itching and burned. I took off the support hose and my veins were popping out in my leg. I called Jessica and Dr. Ricotta’s office and they helped me understand what I was dealing with symptomatically. I really appreciated that. I went back to Dr. Ricotta’s office for the ultrasound and they scheduled my surgery. Dr. Ricotta confirmed that my left leg had a blockage and I would need surgery. Dr. Ricotta told me what to do and how to get ready for surgery. I was very nervous after understanding this was a main artery blockage. My mind was all over the place. I went to Delray Medical Center. I remember seeing Dr. Ricotta right before surgery. He told me what to expect. We talked and cracked some jokes and then Dr. Ricotta said to me, you have to quit smoking, that’s one of the things that makes this (peripheral arterial disease – PAD) so bad. I took his advice and I’m trying to quit smoking.
All I felt was a little bit of pressure and that was (Dr. Ricotta) putting three stents into my clogged femoral artery. After the surgery, Dr. Ricotta told me that I had a 100 percent blockage and I was about to lose my left leg. The next time I saw Dr. Ricotta was after being discharged from the hospital. I went to his office and his staff did an ultrasound and all my numbers were great. I had a couple of questions post-op and called Dr. Ricotta’s office. The staff picked right up and they were very attentive. I saw him (Dr. Ricotta) in another three months for an ultrasound to make sure none of the stents collapsed and to make sure I still had good blood flow in my leg.
I deejay and have a little studio at home. Before the surgery being a deejay was something I didn’t do because standing was really something I couldn’t do.
I am forever grateful to Dr. Ricotta. The job I do now is canvassing, walking an average of four to five miles a day registering people to vote. I am back to standing all night as a DJ of Hip-Hop, Rock ‘N’ Roll again; I do it all old school – Run DMC and Beastie Boys. I remember when I had the ailment I had to put that on hold, I told people interested in booking me that I’d be back to my funky self in just a minute. It felt so good when I was back and booked that first DJ gig after the surgery pain-free. Dr. Ricotta literally gave me my life back.
Tropic Bay, Delray Beach resident
The day after Thanksgiving, I went for a walk and was wearing a brand new pair of diabetic walking shoes. In one of those shoes there was a little imperfection that rubbed on my right foot and ankle to the point of creating a massive blister. That blister opened up while I was wearing the shoe and the wound became badly infected. The size of the wound infection had eaten away the attachment of the Achilles tendon, which was by now seriously infected. The orthopaedic surgeon I saw felt there was no way around amputation of the knee and ankle. I was sent to another orthopedic surgeon who said there was no way the leg could be saved. I refused to consent for amputation. The doctor then referred me to Dr. Joseph Ricotta, a vascular surgeon who would treat the apparent circulatory problems in my right leg.
My right foot and ankle infection went all the way down to my bone. It was a nightmare. I went to see Dr. Ricotta in his office, where he determined it would be beneficial to undergo a procedure to save my foot, ankle and leg. I had an immediate sense of caring from the people who work in his office. Jessica Bruno, the physician’s assistant, was outstanding during my two follow-ups at Dr. Ricotta’s practice. She is excellent. Dr. Ricotta’s staff is unbelievably wonderful – they instill a real sense of confidence, and they really believe in Dr. Ricotta’s program. Dr. Ricotta’s staff carries themselves with exuberance, care and concern. His staff knows me by name.
The procedure was done at Delray Medical Center. This limb salvage procedure was done by Dr. Ricotta, robotically using an intravenous approach to get into the vascular system in my leg. Dr. Ricotta told me during the surgery he inflated a drug-coated balloon to create an angioplasty to open up a blockage and create a path in my right leg, which was caused by my diabetes and the infection. This is what saved my life. The lack of circulation in my right leg was causing my limb to die and the infection in the leg was down to the bone. In addition, Dr. Ricotta had to remove three-quarters of my Achilles tendon.
The infection was so bad that when you were looking at the wound you were looking straight at my bone in my ankle, it was so intense and so big. It was massive. Before I met with Dr. Ricotta, this wound and infection was deemed totally inoperable. This was totally a miracle what Dr. Ricotta did to save my leg. Dr. Ricotta and his limb salvage procedure was truly the turning point in saving my life. He had a great outlook during the whole ordeal while other doctors just gave me a grim prognosis. Dr. Ricotta’s demeanor is calm in his office and then after surgery, he made sure he acknowledged me by coming by to say hello. His visit with me and my wife was very personal. Dr. Ricotta even met me in the hospital lobby the day I was discharged. Delray Medical Center was just wonderful. I was only in the hospital for three days. After being discharged, I saw Dr. Ricotta in his Delray Beach office. There’s an immediate sense of caring by the people who work in his office. That is very special. I had two follow-ups and then home care was ordered to dress and care for the wound. Dr. Ricotta’s office off of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach is convenient to get in and out of.
Dr. Ricotta and his staff say I’ll be able to walk on the beach and go in the water again. That’s my goal to go down to the beach and walk in the water again.
Dr. Ricotta’s operation is what saved my leg and foot. The wound was the size of a silver dollar and now it’s completely closed. The MRI’s showed the infection went down to the bone. I had osteomyelitis which is an infection in a bone.
I have three daughters, my oldest is a child advocate lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska, and my middle daughter is a world-renowned physical therapist specializing in a program of obstetrical physical therapy – she goes all over the world lecturing, and my youngest daughter is an RN and an oncology specialist at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. My daughters think that the care Dr. Ricotta provided me was outstanding. They are just elated. They’ve been here and looked over the facilities at Dr. Ricotta’s office and at Delray Medical Center. My daughters are all in the position to understand first-hand what kind of care I received from Dr. Ricotta. I have seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. I come from a medical family. My uncle, Dr. George Wilson, was chief of thoracic surgery when he was at Yale University. When I was young, I would go with my uncle to St. Raphael Hospital where he was working on the rejection factor of heart transplants. My father taught at Harvard Medical School and dental schools, my brother teaches at Tufts University. I’m the only one who didn’t go into medicine. I flew airplanes.
When I was younger, I was a speech therapist, I was in the U.S. Merchant Marine, I was a pilot from 1959 to 1987 and also served as an emergency medical technician (EMT) on the back of fire trucks in my hometown of Yankton, South Dakota, before moving to South Florida. I was a nationally registered EMT. I was an EMT in South Dakota where I dealt with a lot of the farm injuries, severed limbs, from the bailing machines that bail the hay and whip the wire around.
I’ve had no discomfort whatsoever, none procedurally or after care. I have Brittle Diabetes and my team of doctors and everyone at Delray Medical Center from my primary care doctor to my podiatrist, to my infectious disease specialist and Dr. Joseph Ricotta, did such a fantastic job in treating me. This team of doctors was great because without giving me back my circulation it would’ve been a moot point. I can’t say enough about my patient caretaker, my wife Barbara, My wife Barbara Wilson is truly an angel. She played an important role in my recovery. It was a real team effort but the turning point was the establishment of the blood flow by Dr. Ricotta – that saved my leg and my life.
Something out of the ordinary during an eye exam led Simon Williams to Dr. Joseph Ricotta and the first TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) surgery in South Florida.
Williams went to his optometrist when he noticed a small blind spot had developed in his eye. The optometrist observed little bits of plaque in Williams’ eye and suggested he see a specialist. Plaque in Williams’ right carotid artery was breaking off and dangerously travelling toward his brain.
“By just looking into my eyes the optometrist could see plaque in there,” Williams said.
Plaque building up in arteries can obstruct necessary blood flow to the brain.
Prior to meeting Dr. Ricotta, Williams was told he needed a carotid endarterectomy, a surgery used to open up carotid artery blockages in the neck. The procedure can help to prevent a stroke.
“I had squamous cell carcinoma cancer on the base of my tongue 11-years prior. Chemotherapy and radiation damaged structures in my neck so I wasn’t a candidate for an endarterectomy,” Williams said.
He needed a stent put in his right carotid artery to open up the blood flow to his brain, so he began looking for alternatives. Williams turned to his faith and friends.
“Because I’m a Jehovah’s Witness I wanted a procedure that wouldn’t involve much blood loss. I called a friend who works in a doctor’s office and they recommended Dr. Ricotta as the best in Florida. I made an appointment with Dr. Ricotta and he said yes I was a candidate for the TCAR procedure,” Williams said.
Dr. Ricotta saw Williams at his Tenet Florida Cardiovascular Care office in Delray Beach and during a carotid artery ultrasound confirmed the blockage. Just five weeks after the plaque was first noticed in Williams’ eyes, Dr. Ricotta performed the first TCAR procedure on the east coast of Florida. Williams’ TCAR was performed in the new Endovascular Hybrid Operating Room at Delray Medical Center.
To start the TCAR procedure, Dr. Ricotta placed a small incision above Williams’s clavicle to access his right carotid artery. Next, a pliable sheath was placed into the carotid artery. Blood flow was reversed away from Williams’s brain to minimize plaque debris from travelling to the brain. Williams’s blood was filtered and returned to his body via another sheath in the femoral vein of his thigh. Next, Dr. Ricotta put a neuroprotection system in place, performed a balloon angioplasty and placed a stent in the artery. Once the stent was in place, Dr. Ricotta turned off the reversal flow mechanism and returned blood flow to Williams’s brain. The filter caught the plaque that can cause a stroke.
“Dr. Ricotta showed my wife the before and after angiograms of my right carotid artery when it was blocked and afterward completely open. My wife took a picture of the before and after of the angiogram and it’s been a very effective tool to explain the importance and value of this type of surgery. My wife and son were very happy with Dr. Ricotta and the results of his surgery,” Williams said.
“I had the procedure and was out of the hospital the next day. Dr. Ricotta performed the surgery on a Thursday and the following Monday I was back to work. Knowing the carotid artery is unclogged has increased my self-confidence. I feel great!” Williams said.
Barbara Cutler, a seasonal Delray Beach resident, is back to a normal, pain free life after Joseph Dr. Ricotta treated claudication in her legs with the Magellan™ Robotic System.
I had problems with my legs for more than three years. The reason being the main arteries in both legs from the groin to the knee were clogged, causing claudication in the legs.
After having three children and working as a pharmacist (on my feet) this was to be expected. The condition had become progressively worse. I like being active, so it became a problem.
We live in New Jersey near many major medical centers and in Florida so treatment was readily available. I had the procedure done in Florida because Dr. Ricotta practices here.
We went to a lecture at the local library where Dr. Ricotta spoke. We did some research and found he was one of the leading physicians in this field.
I made an appointment. Tests were done and it was determined that there was no blood flow through my right leg arteries and only 85 percent flow through my left leg arteries. This was the cause of all the leg pain. Dr. Ricotta performed a robotic assisted atherectomy, balloon angioplasty and stenting at Delray Medical Center on both legs two weeks apart.
I went home the same day as the surgeries.
After both surgeries I felt perfectly fine. I thought it was an easy procedure, however when I learned what he did I knew, “He is just amazing!”
Delray Medical Center was excellent. The staff was pleasant and efficient.
My husband had the VenaSeal procedure performed by Dr. Ricotta at his office to treat the veins in his legs on Valentine’s Day. The best Valentine imaginable! After the procedures Dr. Ricotta performed neither of us needed elastic stockings or our legs wrapped. We are back to a normal, pain free life.
*** This testimonial reflects the experience and outcome of this patient. Actual results will vary. ***
Merle Wilson, a Boca Raton resident, is back to wearing capris, walking her dogs and going to the beach after vein closure procedures by Dr. Joseph Ricotta.
I was tired, my legs and feet were swelling, and I couldn’t fit into my shoes. I had all my friends doing research to try and find out what was causing the swelling. My friend from Georgia knew of Dr. Joseph Ricotta when he ran a vascular institute there. She had great things to say about him. I googled “Dr. Ricotta, vascular surgeon” and found his resume online. I was very impressed. It turned out Dr. Ricotta had relocated to Florida and opened an office in Delray Beach.
When I called Dr. Ricotta’s office, the staff was very polite. I was able to get an appointment fairly quickly. Before Dr. Ricotta and I talked, I didn’t know what was going on with my legs and feet. Dr. Ricotta explained two veins in one leg and one in the other were not working properly, causing blood to pool in the bottom of my legs.
Dr. Ricotta is friendly and calm. He explains everything in detail and he told me of the alternatives. One way of treating this is to have surgery, with anesthesia, which would require being in the hospital for a few days, followed by rehabilitation. Dr. Ricotta said another option is the VenaSeal™ Closure System, which he uses along with a medical adhesive to glue the leaky vein shut. This type of vein closure is done right in Dr. Ricotta’s office in Delray Beach. I chose the VenaSeal procedure.
During my treatment, Dr. Ricotta was able to seal my veins and prevent any more blood from leaking out of my veins. My entire procedure took about an hour. Most of that time was for the ultrasounds on my legs, which were performed by a technician. The ultrasounds were performed to find out where in my leg the veins were leaking. Then, Dr. Ricotta performed the procedures via a small catheter inserted into each vein. A little bit of lidocaine topical jelly was applied to my legs just to make sure I wouldn’t feel any pain. The procedure was absolutely painless and I was awake the entire time. Afterward, I was able to leave the office with no down time. Right away, I was able to walk for long distances much easier.
Before having this treatment performed by Dr. Ricotta, my legs were swollen and full of fluid. I wasn’t able to wear shorts or capris because of the compression hose, which I rarely took off, except for when I needed to shower or sleep. It was also hard to go to the beach because the hose would get very messy and sandy.
Today, my legs feel lighter and I can walk better. My friends and family are happy for me. I’m able to wear shorts and capris because my legs look much better. I am able to walk my two dogs a few times a day and going to the beach is much easier.
Today, my legs feel good and they look good too.
*** This testimonial reflects the experience and outcome of this patient. Actual results will vary. ***
Louis Cutler, a seasonal Delray Beach resident, had diseased leg veins causing him pain and other ailments. Dr. Ricotta treated him in the office with the VenaSeal™ Closure System and today Louis has no restrictions.
I had aches, pain, swelling and discoloration in the thighs, calves and ankles of both legs. During the last several years, blood would flow down my legs, but become trapped and not return upward. These leg ailments slowed me down, causing trouble walking and exercising.
My wife and I heard about Dr. Joseph Ricotta, a vascular surgeon at Tenet Florida Cardiovascular Care, who is world famous for treating these types of ailments. We attended a lecture he gave on varicose veins and venous insufficiency at our local library and were very impressed. We made an appointment at his office in Delray Beach.
During the consult, Dr. Ricotta explained a new procedure, VenaSeal™ Closure System, which he performs endovenously using a medical adhesive to close the diseased leg veins that caused my problem. He took the time to explain other treatment alternatives as well. Dr. Ricotta said, “Go ahead home and think about it.” I didn’t feel any pressure from him. We went home and within two hours scheduled my VenaSeal treatment for the following month. A few days later, the office staff called and said they had an opening for me to come in for the procedure. It was Valentine’s Day and I thought this would be a great present.
I was impressed with the way the procedure worked. During the VenaSeal treatment, I was in somewhat of a sitting position in the office. Ultrasounds were performed on my legs by a technician to find the problem veins. Dr. Ricotta accessed the diseased veins, endovenously through a micro puncture in my leg. While Dr. Ricotta was performing the procedure on a monitor, I could see everything and I didn’t feel any pain.
He explained each part of the process, including how he used the medical adhesive to close the leaky veins. Dr. Ricotta has a quiet, calming manner and has the ability to simplify everything. The procedure took one hour to treat both legs.
After, I was able to leave Dr. Ricotta’s office with only a small steri-strip on each leg. Dr. Ricotta shook my hand and said, “Goodbye, go home and you’re fine to do whatever you want.” I said, “Do you want me to keep my feet up?” and he said, “Go take a walk, do anything you want, you’re fine.”
I got up from the exam table and did not feel any pain. As days past, I felt even better. The VenaSeal done by Dr. Ricotta was the easiest procedure I’ve ever had.
After having the VenaSeal procedure, I was back to walking and exercising in no time at all. My wife and I enjoy going to yoga class which I’m glad to say we’ve been able to resume. Shopping and going to the theatre is easy now. Previously, it was uncomfortable for me to sit, and now I have no restrictions. I am even back to playing table tennis.
Dr. Ricotta’s staff was also very helpful.
*** This testimonial reflects the experience and outcome of this patient. Actual results will vary. ***
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