Rocco Ciocca
Rocco G. Ciocca

Rocco G. Ciocca

Rocco G. Ciocca
Specialty

Vascular Surgery

  • Accepting Children: No
  • Accepting New Patients: Yes
  • Accepting Medicare: Yes
  • Accepting Medicaid/DSHS: Yes
Insurance Accepted:

Contact this office for accepted insurance plans.

Additional Information:

Dr. Rocco Ciocca is a vascular surgeon at Swedish Vascular Surgery.

His practice includes the diagnosis and management of a wide range of vascular related issues including carotid artery disease, aortic and peripheral aneurysms, claudication, limb threatening occlusive disease, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, dialysis access procedures, management of thoracic outlet syndrome and the management of complex wounds.

Dr. Ciocca strives to provide an evidence based approach to the problems of a given patient tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. Such an approach bases the recommendations for a patient’s care upon the current best medical/surgical evidence for a given condition. That is augmented by years of clinical experience taking care of complex vascular problems. Dr. Ciocca works diligently to provide care in as patient friendly environment as possible.

Medical School

New York Medical College

Residency

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital

Fellowship(s)

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Board Certifications

American Board of Surgery and Vascular Surgery

Additional Information:

Dr. Rocco Ciocca is a vascular surgeon at Swedish Vascular Surgery.

His practice includes the diagnosis and management of a wide range of vascular related issues including carotid artery disease, aortic and peripheral aneurysms, claudication, limb threatening occlusive disease, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, dialysis access procedures, management of thoracic outlet syndrome and the management of complex wounds.

Dr. Ciocca strives to provide an evidence based approach to the problems of a given patient tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. Such an approach bases the recommendations for a patient’s care upon the current best medical/surgical evidence for a given condition. That is augmented by years of clinical experience taking care of complex vascular problems. Dr. Ciocca works diligently to provide care in as patient friendly environment as possible.

Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when a weak area in the aorta (the major blood vessel that sends blood through the body) dilates and quietly expands. The dilated area can rupture or leak. Often AAA is only discovered when it appears on an X-ray taken for some other reason – or when it ruptures.
 
AAA is the third leading cause of death in men ages 60 and older. Nearly 90 percent of the time, a ruptured AAA causes death, so it is important to discover and treat it early.
 
Risk factors include:

Hardening of the arteries is a disease for the ages

A couple of months ago the New York Times published an interesting article summarizing recent findings of researchers who performed CT scans on mummies from Egypt, Peru, the Aleutian Islands and the American Southwest. One of the striking findings was that 38 percent of Egyptian mummies and 29 percent of all other mummies had definite or probable evidence of hardening of the arteries. The incidence was higher in mummies of people of 40 years or older. The geography and diets for the mummies varied greatly and yet the rates of calcified arteries were fairly similar.

What you should know about atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries:

Hardening of the arteries (also known as atherosclerosis) is a disease that has been strongly associated with multiple risk factors. The risk factors in addition to age include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. Many of these risk factors are associated with diets that are high in saturated fats or complex carbohydrates and thus to connect this study to modern times is not easy...

Patients who inspire

We are living and working in a dynamic time for healthcare. New and exciting therapies are being developed and technology allows us to successfully, safely and effectively treat patients who previously would have died. However, we also face many challenges – such as a significant number of our patients who remain uninsured or underinsured.

And yet, there are a lot of things about the delivery of healthcare that separate it from being just a job, a source of income or a place to which to go every day. We assist, treat and care for patients and often times, become inspired by the people with whom we have regular contact. The sources of that inspiration are many and often include colleagues, ancillary staff and our patients.

The source of inspiration can be subtle and come unexpectedly. Such an instance happened to me just last week. I was asked to see a gentleman to evaluate an arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula) on his left arm which he uses four or five times a week for hemodialysis.

For those who don’t know, kidney failure is a very difficult problem to manage. When one gets to end stage kidney failure, dialysis treatment is necessary to stay alive.. One of the more common forms of access to the bloodstream for hemodialysis is to surgically connect a patient’s artery to a vein. This connection is usually done in the arm, and, when it functions properly, provides a high flow, superficial access site for fairly large needles which allow for blood to be taken out of the body and then, once cleansed, returned safely back into the body.

As I frequently try to do, I scanned the patient’s problem list in his electronic medical record so I would have at least some idea about his overall medical condition before the appointment. With a mental picture of a chronically ill and obese patient in mind, I entered the exam room to find a very fit looking gentleman waiting for me. I thought I had the wrong room...

Diagnosing Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

(Ed. note - As it is heart month, we asked Dr. Rocco Ciocca, Chief of Vascular Surgery, to explain a little more about heart attacks and peripheral artery disease.)

In the last blog we defined a condition known as PAD, which is a constellation of problems related to narrowing of the arteries outside the heart.

PAD, If left untreated, can lead to having a stroke, worsening high blood pressure, difficulty walking, non-healing sores on the legs and feet and in extreme cases gangrene necessitating amputation of the involved body part.

I briefly mentioned how it can be diagnosed and would like to describe that in more detail here.

The great news is that doctors do not need order a bunch of painful or expensive tests to diagnosis PAD. The best and most cost-effective test is a thorough history and physical exam. During that, the health care provider will listen to your symptoms and ask questions about your medical history and your risk factors.

The major risk factors for PAD are:

  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • high cholesterol levels

Heart Attack and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

(Ed. note - As it is heart month, we asked Dr. Rocco Ciocca, Chief of Vascular Surgery, to explain a little more about heart attacks and peripheral artery disease.)

Most people are familiar with the phrase “heart attack” and know that it can be a life threatening condition.

The most common case of a “heart attack” or myocardial infarction is the sudden closure or clotting of a vessel or vessels that supply blood and thus oxygen and other nutrients to the heart. The heart is a muscle and without adequate blood flow the muscle dies. The most common case of a heart attack is “hardening of the arteries” or atherosclerotic disease of the arteries. The disease, which is most commonly related to various risk factors such as age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high suger levels in the blood (diabetes), causes abnormal blockages to develop in critical blood vessels in the body limiting flow. The blood vessels of the heart are not the only vessels affected.

In fact, hardening of the arteries is a systemic (total body) process that involves many other blood vessels of the body. When it involves the other peripheral arteries of the body it is know as PAD, peripheral artery disease. The diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of PAD are managed by vascular specialists such as vascular surgeons.

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Offices

Swedish Vascular Surgery - First Hill
801 Broadway
5th Floor
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-215-5921
Fax: 206-215-5922
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
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