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Vascular Condition Patient Stories

Every day, our heart and vascular health care team makes a difference in the lives of our patients.

The stories below profile some of the patients who came to UPMC for heart and vascular care.

Note: These patients' treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.

Alex Delp: Aortic Transection

After a life-threatening fall, Alex was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered an aortic transection. He had vascular surgery to repair his aorta.

After experiencing a life-threatening fall, Alex was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered an aortic transection. This condition is characterized by a tear in the descending thoracic aorta, the major artery carrying blood from the heart to the body. At UPMC, he underwent emergent vascular surgery to repair his aorta. Through hard work and determination, Alex has emerged from his recovery stronger than before and is living life to the fullest.

Read Alex Delp's story

William Bisson: Aortofemoral Bypass

Moving to Western Pennsylvania to be closer to family turned out to be the right decision for William Bisson in more ways than one. When a sudden vascular event occurred, William was close enough to UPMC Northwest to seek care. These days, he's back to spending time with his family, thanks to the Division of Vascular Surgery at UPMC.

Read William Bisson's story

Edward Steinbacher: Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysm (TAAA)

After developing numbness and discoloration in his leg, Edward decided to seek care. When he was diagnosed with a recurrent thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA), experts at the UPMC Center for Aortic Disease ensured that Edward received advanced, long-term management and care for his complex condition.

Read Edward Steinbacher's story

Lois Ballog: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

HVI patient Lois Ballog - HVI Patient Story

Lois developed numbness in her hand following shoulder surgery and was diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).

Read Lois Ballog's story

John Beckas: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

John Beckas | UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute

John knew he chose the right team when he underwent valve therapy treatment with Dr. Ibrahim Sultan at UPMC Shadyside. When a sudden abdominal aortic aneurysm occurred, John and his family turned back to UPMC Shadyside and the HVI team, including Dr. Efthymios Avgerinos, to save his life.

Read John Beckas's story

Michelle Betts: Chronic DVT & May-Thurner Syndrome

Michelle Betts

Michelle Betts struggled with pain and swelling in her leg for years before she sought help at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

Read Michelle Betts's story

Amy Bonner: May Thurner Syndrome

Amy Bonner

Nearly a decade ago, Amy was suddenly diagnosed with May-Thurner Syndrome and deep vein thrombosis at the age of 36.

Read Amy Bonner's story

Abby DiBenedetto: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

HVI patient Abby DiBendetto

Abby had ongoing problems with blood clots until she sought help from the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

Read Abby DiBenedetto's story

Tom Fetterman: Peripheral Arterial Disease

A man with gray hair and rounded glasses. He wears a black shirt. He is smiling and looks happy.

Throughout his lifetime, Tom has completed more than 100 marathons. But after a blocked artery in his leg put a stop to his running, Tom turned to UPMC to get him back on his feet.

Read Tom Fetterman's story

Norman Melser: Limb Ischemia

Norman, an avid runner, felt severe pain in his leg and went to the hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with limb-threatening ischemia.

Read Norman Melser's story

Christine Noel: Dysfunctional Veins and Lymphedema

Christine Noel

Christine Noel sought care at UPMC Vein Centers when the wound on her leg wouldn't heal. Working with both the Vein Centers and the Lymphedema Program to address the dysfunctional veins and lymphedema in her leg, Christine is now back to her active life.

Read Christine Noel's story

Leo Parks: Popliteal Artery Aneurysm

Leo had severe leg pain before coming to UPMC, where doctors diagnosed him with an Aneurysm in his right popliteal artery.

Read Leo Parks's story

Rick Swank: Aneurysm

HVI patient Rick Swank | HVI Patient Story

Rick had two infected aneurysms and got urgent treatment at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

Read Rick Swank's story

Tomas Vokoun: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

HVI patient Tomas Vokoun | DVT Patient Story

Tomas, a National Hockey League goalie, had a massive blood clot in his leg and pelvis, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Read Tomas Vokoun's story

Olivia Weiland: May-Thurner Syndrome

HVI patient Olivia Weiland | HVI Patient Story

Olivia struggled with a swollen foot for years before coming to UPMC, where doctors diagnosed her with May-Thurner syndrome.

Read Olivia Weiland's story