Open Accessibility Menu

New Vascular Surgeon Joins Local Medical Community

New Vascular Surgeon Joins Local Medical Community

Vascular surgeon Dr. Joyce Lu, a Cupertino native, joined Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF) Vascular Surgery Department in October 2023. This followed several years of training and practice that spanned the East Coast, Midwest, and the California Central Valley.

“I came back to the Bay Area to be close to my family and I chose WTMF for my practice because of its reputation as the medical foundation of an innovative community hospital,” Dr. Lu said. “The Healthcare System is known for its patient-centered care and that’s the environment in which I wanted to work.”

The Healthcare System’s relationship with UCSF Health also was a draw, she said. Washington Hospital Healthcare System (WHHS) and UCSF are jointly committed to providing innovative care to heart (cardiothoracic) and vascular patients. WHHS’ plan to build two hybrid surgical suites is one example of the modernization of heart and vascular surgical care. Together with the UCSF cardiothoracic surgeons, they perform complex endovascular aortic stent grafting and open surgical hybrid procedures to provide comprehensive aortic care.

A hybrid surgical suite is a surgical operating room with a built-in fluoroscope that is essential for endovascular minimally invasive surgery, Lu explained. Without the hybrid suite, patients may have to be moved between imaging and operating rooms or wait for a mobile fluoroscope to be brought over. The hybrid suite is used for the variety of procedures that can be performed with minimally invasive techniques. In addition to vascular surgery procedures, for example, angiograms with interventions such as stenting and other cardiac services can be performed in a hybrid surgical suite.

Minimally invasive surgery does not require a major incision, it can, therefore, reduce patients’ time on the operating table by two-thirds or more. Patient hospitalization times can also be greatly reduced.

Dr. Lu uses minimally invasive surgery to treat a variety of vascular issues such as carotid stenosis (that can cause stroke); aortic aneurysms, where the walls of the aorta, the large artery that carries blood to the heart, have developed a balloon-like bulge; and atherosclerosis or blood vessel blockages that affect one’s ability to walk and causes pain. She also works collaboratively with the neurosurgeons at the Hospital to perform minimally invasive spine surgeries called anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).

Prior to joining the Washington staff, Dr. Lu, was an integrated vascular surgery resident at Spectrum Health Vascular Surgery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she trained in a variety of innovative open and endovascular surgical techniques. A 2008 graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, she received a Cancer Research Training Award to work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Following her year there, she moved from research to medicine as a career so she could help patients beyond the laboratory setting.

She first explored emergency medicine but realized she wanted to develop relationships with patients that were longer lasting than the Emergency Department setting allowed, so she explored vascular surgery while at Albany Medical College in New York. There she worked with Dr. Clem Darling III, former Society for Vascular Surgery president, who inspired her to invest in patients both as a teacher and a surgeon. She also completed an internship as a vascular research sub-investigator with Vrij University in Amsterdam, Netherlands, before moving to Spectrum Health for her residency.

“Being here in Fremont, close to my family, fulfills my goal of working closely with patients to provide cutting-edge medical care in a program that is patient-centric,” she says. An added bonus was that her proficiency in speaking Mandarin Chinese is useful in her work. “I find the cultural diversity of the area rewarding and am pleased I can apply my own background and culture in helping patients.”

For recreation, Dr. Lu enjoys outdoor and indoor rock climbing and likens the challenge to being a vascular surgeon. While in Maryland, Dr. Lu supplemented her work at the NIH as a part-time instructor at a local indoor rock climbing facility. “Whether you are climbing a difficult route or performing a complex surgery, you need to be able to rely on those who are your partners,” she says. “Being that partner in care for my patients brings me great satisfaction and I am honored to be worthy of their trust.”

For more information on WHHS vascular program, visit To learn more about Dr. Lu and other WTMF physicians, visit