Patient Testimonials and Reviews
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. ***
Patient Survey Results
The Patient Survey score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on our independently administered Patient Satisfaction Survey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. Learn More