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Cardiologist of the Year 2011, 2010 and 2009 by the
Consumer Research Council of America


Cardiologist of the Year 2007 and 2006 by the
Consumer Research Council of America

Dr. David E. Ruggieri of Punta Gorda, FL

Non-Surgical Procedure at Charlotte Regional Med. Ctr. Provides New Alternative to Open Heart Surgery

A team of cardiology specialists headed by Dr. David Ruggieri has successfully performed a unique new cardiac procedure on a 76-year-old Punta Gorda resident.

Using recently developed high-tech equipment, it was the first time the procedure has been performed in Charlotte county.

Called an atherectomy, the procedure promises to not only dramatically reduce the need for open heart surgery for victims of heart disease but also reduce hospital stays, from about 10 days for open heart surgery to 2-4 days for an atherectomy. In addition, recovery is more rapid and treatment costs are lowered.

Dr. David E. Ruggieri of Punta Gorda, FL

Technology gives heart surgeons a hand

Dr. Ruggieri is first to use Rota Blader in SW Florida in October 1994

The Rota Blader works with a catheter concept much like the athrecetomy, but has much more veratility.The football shaped device works like a dentists high-speed drill to cut away the build up. You pulverize the plaque to the size of blood vessels. Which go's through the bodies own cleansing system to be flushed away.

The benefits of rotary athrecetomy is its size and being more flexible enabling Doctors to treat more than just a section of a clogged artery.

Dr. David E. Ruggieri of Punta Gorda, FL

A Medical Wave of the Future

A new procedure to remove calcified blockages from coronary arteries was used at Charlotte Regional Medical Center for the first time.

It was the first time for Southwest Florida, according to Dr. David Ruggieri. The "Rotablator" eliminates the need for open-heart surgery in 20 to 25 percent of cases.

Rotating at a speed of 190,000 revolutions per minute, the device grinds the calcified plaque into such tiny particles,each is one-hundreth the size of a red blood cell.

Dr. David E. Ruggieri of Punta Gorda, FL

New procedure offers alternative for heart patients

The state-of-the-art-procedure called stent insertion is now offered at Charlotte Regional Medical Center that could allow some patients to avoid bypass surgery.

The stent is a cage that is placed inside the artery wall to keep it open.
Physicians use a balloon to position the stent inside the artery. The balloon is inflated to expand the stent, then deflated and removed, while the stent remains open in the artery.

The first stent insertion procedure was performed by Dr. David Ruggieri, M.D. and Dr. Bala Nandigam, M.D. on patient Thomas Damico.

Dr. David E. Ruggieri of Punta Gorda, FL

Doctors use new procedure to keep artery open

Thomas Damico, 47 a former smoker who ate foods high in cholesterol for years had been a patient of Dr. Ruggieri's with recurring problems. He had a heart attack in January and had a clogged artery in March. He had already received balloon treatments to open the artery as well as a technique Ruggieri calls "a rotorooter" to clean out the built up plaque. Monday he came in with third blockage complaint. The doctors were going to open up the right coronary artery but feared it would fail again.

Ruggieri thought the stent may be the best option. It took Ruggieri 10 minutes to put it in Damico's heart. Dr. Ruggieri thinks the stent could last forever for Damico, who has a strong heart.

Dr. David E. Ruggieri of Punta Gorda, FL

The Beat Goes On

Joe Galewski says he was born with a bad heart, with three heart attacks, a triple bypass, and nine catheterizations and an angioplasty.

Last week he got another chance to keep his heart ticking. Galewski, 57, had a defibrillator implanted in his chest, whish gives electric shocks to keep his heart rhythm regular. The defibrillator is about a third the size of a hockey puck. "Because it is so small we can implant it behind the clavicle (collarbone), instead of the abdomen," said Doctor Ruggierri. In the past, defibrillators were placed in the abdomen, with wires snaking up to the heart. The new device requires about a 4-inch incision in the upper chest.