I am a pleasant, 76-year-old man whose father died at age 77, three weeks after vascular surgery to repair an abdominal aorta aneurism followed by a lower leg amputation due to gangrene. I inherited my father’s body build and poor circulation, and have a complicated medical history, including peripheral vascular disease with neuropathy, leg cramps, and, since 2003, slow healing wounds on the toes and shins.

With 100 percent blockages in the femoral arteries in both thighs identified in 2003, I increased my exercise time to try to grow more collateral arteries. Since then I have consulted vascular surgeons and vascular intervention specialists, three in Florida and six here in the East Valley. All but one in Florida and one here in the East Valley considered intervention too challenging or too risky.

Two weeks ago, Dr. Joseph Vijungco of Discover Vein and Vascular in Chandler, who is board certified in vascular and endovascular surgery, opened a long blockage in one femoral artery and placed a stent, providing blood flow to an artery in the lower leg. He opened another blockage at the hip. The pain in my calf was gone in hours. Following this intervention, a podiatrist straightened the big toe and removed infected bone and dead tissue. So far, the toe appears to be healing.

Dr. Oz is doing a great service, calling attention to vascular surgery, but there are other board certified vascular surgeons in the Valley, contrary to the statement in the ad in the Sunday, June 17 Tribune, page 8. Until I found Dr. Vijungco, it was my intention to fly to the University of South Florida in Tampa for vascular surgery if it became unavoidable. Now I have a great vascular surgeon in my back yard, for which I am grateful.

Bill Stoneburner


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