Forging a new path in the Naples/Marco Island, Everglades City area is Rashmi Sharma, M.D. She is an Endovascular/ Vascular Surgeon, the only female vascular surgeon in the area. Dr. Sharma joined Physicians Regional Medical Group and moved to this area in April.
“I am a beach lover, and had vacationed here. I fell in love with the lifestyle of the area. The restaurants, the shops and of course, the beach,” said Dr. Sharma. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Moorhead University in Minnesota, she received medical school degrees at the University of North Dakota. She then completed her General Surgery training at University of California, Davis-East Bay. She received advanced training in Endovascular Surgery at Arizona Heart Institute, and Vascular Surgery at Atlanta Medical Center.
Dr. Sharma worked for Kaiser Permanente as an Endovascular/Vascular surgeon in California and Interboro Surgical Associates in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to moving to Florida, Dr. Sharma was an Endovascular/Vascular surgeon in West Virginia. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her practice.
“Patients in this area are more aware of their health. They chose to live here because they like the healthy lifestyle. They’re better educated and make positive decisions in an effort to better their health. If they have high blood sugar, they work to lower it, they exercise, quit smoking, and maintain their blood pressure. People here do what it takes to maintain the healthy lifestyle.”
Dr. Sharma believes knowledge is power and makes a concerted effort to educate her patients. “My experience is patients here listen, they take better care of themselves and are more aware of their health. My goal is to provide the very best in patient care.” In doing so, she makes sure a diagnosis is explained and that the patient fully understands and participates in the decision making process. Patients find Dr. Sharma “approachable” and are welcomed by her warm, friendly style.
“My specialty interests are abdominal aortic aneurysms, carotidartery disease, peripheral vascular disease, varicose veins, venous obstruction, and hemodialysis access interventions.”
When asked about the newest technologies in the field, Dr. Sharma had this to say: “Everyone is familiar with fixing aneurysms with stent grafts. In the lower extremities, with varicose veins, we no longer strip veins, we use laser ablations and injections. We do not do long bypasses in the leg for blockages anymore; we do an Artherectomy (it is like a ‘roto-router’ for the arteries). It isn’t new, it has been around for five or six years, but they keep improving the devices. I’ve used three or four different types, all FDA approved. The exciting thing for the future is that we are very close to having FDA approval on stents that have medication on them.”
According to Dr. Sharma, about two-thirds of people with peripheral vascular disease don’t know they have it. They might be walking, experience pain, they stop, it goes away. When they start walking again, the pain comes back. “If there is one thing I would suggest as a preventive measure, it would be to have regular screenings. It is relatively inexpensive to have screening ultrasounds for early detection of carotid, aneurysms, and PVD issues. Today, you don’t need to have a stroke to know you have arterial disease. We can catch it earlier and prevent you from having a stroke. We can know you have an aneurysm before it ruptures and that you have disease in the artery in the leg before it is too late.”
Dr. Sharma is accepting new patients and can be reached at 239-348-4212 or PhysiciansRegional.com. She is seeing patients at Physicians Regional Healthcare System (both at Pine Ridge and Collier Boulevard) as well as working in the Vein Center at Pine Ridge and the Wound Center at Collier Boulevard. She will be giving lectures on vascular diseases; please call the above number for dates and location.