Tampa General’s Limb Preservation-Peripheral Arterial Disease Program expands to new Tampa location offering comprehensive, coordinated care.
March 14, 2023 – The Tampa General Hospital (TGH) Heart & Vascular Institute is opening a new satellite clinic for its Limb Preservation-Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Program. The program is the first and only of its kind in the Tampa Bay region to offer a truly multi-disciplinary, integrated and evidence-based approach to the management and care of patients with complex PAD. Opening on March 22, the program seeks to prevent limb amputations through early identification and treatment of patients with critically low limb blood flow due to a severe blockage in the arteries (limb ischemia or non-healing leg wounds).
“The care of patients with limb ischemia or chronic wounds at risk for amputation really requires an integrated, collaborative, evidence-based approach to give someone the best chance of limb salvage,” said Dr. Charles J. Bailey, assistant professor in the Division of Vascular Surgery in the Department of Surgery in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, director of TGH’s Vascular Center of Excellence and medical director of Tampa General’s Limb Preservation-PAD Program.
“Our team of surgeons and specialists embrace the newest research and technology and work as partners to provide a treatment plan as unique as each patient. The Limb Preservation Program’s new clinic will represent the first off-campus satellite clinic for the Heart & Vascular Institute and offers a novel level of care to our community. Many non-traumatic (not caused by an injury) amputations are preventable, and programs like ours have proved to reduce amputation rates and improve quality of life for PAD patients.”
The Limb Preservation Program is part of the TGH Heart & Vascular Institute’s Vascular Center of Excellence. The program’s clinic location at the TGH Heart & Vascular Institute South Tampa, 1202 S. Church Ave. in Tampa, offers patients at risk for limb loss convenient access to comprehensive wound care, podiatry services and vascular care.
“Our ultimate goal is to prevent every amputation we can. We have recruited a team of podiatrists, wound nurses and vascular surgeons who are leaders in the treatment of complex PAD, with multiple peer-reviewed publications, textbook chapters and national presentations on the topic. Our new Limb Preservation Program’s clinic enhances our community’s access to that level of expertise, especially for the underserved population, who we know are at increased risk of amputations in the U.S.,” said Dr. Guilherme Oliveira, professor and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and vice president and chief of the TGH Heart & Vascular Institute. “With this new clinic location, we will be able to treat more patients, save more limbs and improve more lives.”
Patients and conditions treated by Tampa General’s Limb Preservation-PAD Program include:
- Patients with a history of peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- Leg pain from lack of blood flow
- Diabetic foot infections or neuropathic ulcers
- Non-healing lower extremity wounds or ulcerations
The new clinic offers limb preservation treatments ranging from specialized wound care and goal-directed medical therapy for vascular diseases to open vascular bypass and minimally invasive stent therapies. Tampa General’s Heart & Vascular Institute surgeons are also actively involved in clinical research, including participation in the BEST-CLI trial to help determine whether stent or surgical treatments are more effective for critical limb threatening ischemia.
The Limb Preservation Program also features a first-of-its-kind Limb Alert system developed by Bailey to expedite the diagnosis and management of patients with acute limb ischemia, designed to prevent limb loss. For example, if a patient comes to Tampa General Hospital with an infected wound or restricted blood flow to a limb, the Limb Alert is activated, which, similar to a hospital Code Blue, immediately notifies the Limb Preservation Program team.
“Limb salvage and an amputation-free survival is directly dependent on how fast we can diagnose and reverse the problem. The Limb Alert allows our team to rapidly diagnose and restore blood flow in order to improve limb salvage potential,” Bailey said.
Diabetes is a major risk factor for those with PAD. There are 154,000 lower-extremity amputations each year in the U.S. in adults with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 400 non-traumatic lower limb amputations are performed in the U.S. every day, of which 50% are associated with diabetes.
“Many of these surgeries are to remove a leg or foot due to non-healing chronic ulcers (open sores) and nerve damage. Amputation should always be a last resort,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lester, director of Wound Care at Tampa General. “We treat each patient with compassion, tailor treatment plans to meet their unique needs and we are in constant communication with them and the rest of the Limb Preservation Program care team to ensure the best outcome – saving a functional limb and providing a higher quality of life for the patient,” Lester said.
A patient seeking care at the new Heart & Vascular Institute Limb Preservation Program clinic can expect an evaluation by a vascular, wound or podiatry specialist, a review of their medical history and previous medical procedures, as well as support from a Limb Preservation Program coordinator and vascular services nurse navigator. The multidisciplinary team takes a patient-first approach to excellent clinical care by streamlining the patient journey, connecting the patients to resources to help them manage their vascular disease and providing education on lifestyle changes that can reduce risk factors for peripheral arterial disease.
More information about the Limb Preservation and Complex Peripheral Arterial Disease Program at the TGH Heart &Vascular Institute South Tampa is at TGH.org/LPP. Appointments with the Limb Preservation and Complex Peripheral Arterial Disease Program can be made online or by calling the TGH Heart & Vascular Institute’s direct line (813) 844-3900 or by emailing LimbPreservation@tgh.org.
ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL
Tampa General Hospital, a 1,040-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Hospitals, and is tied as the third highest-ranked hospital in Florida, with seven specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings – first nationally in the 2022 America’s Best Employers for Women and sixth out of 100 Florida companies in the 2022 America’s Best Employers by State. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2021, provided a net community benefit worth more than $224.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging powered by Tower outpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics. To see a medical care professional live anytime, anywhere on a smartphone, tablet or computer, visit Virtual Health | Tampa General Hospital (tgh.org). As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that provides real-time situational awareness to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.