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Health services

VA Palo Alto Healthcare System offers a wide range of health, support, and facility services for Veterans in and around Palo Alto, California. Click on a service below for more details like which clinic or medical center offers that service.

Primary care

Talk with an advice nurse if you have questions about your care or for help in deciding whether you need an urgent or routine appointment.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

The Telephone Care Program Advice Nurses are registered nurses who triage symptoms of illness and injury, provide nursing advice, and recommend options for care. This service provides Veterans with helpful medical advice and free, confidential answers to many health care questions.

800-455-0057, option 4

Call anytime. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In addition, our PACT nurses can:

  • Help you manage many of your basic health care needs
  • Answer questions about your current medications or medical condition
  • Discuss your health care concerns and help you decide the best way to handle them
  • Offer improved access to VA services
Common conditions: memory problems, sleep problems, falls, bone loss, weight loss

As you age, we offer a range of medical and support services to help you stay as healthy, active and independent as possible. We also offer help to family members and caregivers who may support you.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We assess your situation and condition to decide which outpatient geriatric services are right for you or a senior Veteran in your care, and then we coordinate your care. Our team of specialists provides geriatric services that include:

  • Medicine and nursing
  • Psychology, psychiatry, and social work
  • Physical and occupational therapy

Learn more about VA long-term care

Your internal medicine physician (internist) guides your care and connects you with the treatments and services you need.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our internists are primary-care doctors who treat adults for a wide range of health issues. Our internists can:

  • Perform checkups for annual, employee, and sports physical exams
  • Order blood work and lab services
  • Prescribe and manage your medicine
  • Provide preventative care, like tips on diet, exercise, and healthy living
  • Treat you when you’re sick or follow up with you after your hospital stay
  • Refer you to specialists

Our specialists provide a full range of services to help you get and understand your prescription medicines and supplies. You can refill VA prescriptions online, by phone or by mail.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our pharmacy provides you and other Veterans with convenient, efficient service to make it easy to get your medications and medical supplies. You can:

  • Pick up new prescriptions in person
  • Refill prescriptions online and by phone or mail
  • Safely dispose of medicines

Learn more about our pharmacy

Your VA primary care provider will work closely with you to plan for all the care you need to stay healthy and well throughout your life. They will also work with family members or caregivers who support you.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

A strong network of family and internal medicine specialists and services can offer you the best possible care. Internal medicine doctors (internists) prevent, diagnose, and treat adult diseases. Doctors who specialize in family medicine provide primary health care to the entire family. Your primary care team can coordinate the many services you receive such as:

  • Labs and blood work
  • Mental health care
  • Women's health care
  • Radiology
  • Social services
  • Telehealth

Mental health care

We can help you overcome substance use problems from unhealthy alcohol use to life-threatening addiction. We match our services—like counseling, group therapy or medication—to your specific needs.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We help Veterans on their recovery journey through outpatient and inpatient services. Our residential facility helps Veterans deal with substance abuse, homelessness, mental health, and unemployment through its 24-hour therapeutic and educational programs like:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health maintenance
  • Community support

Learn more about our VA treatment programs

Common conditions: addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD

If you’re struggling with issues like PTSD, depression, grief, anger or trauma, we offer counseling and other support. All VA health care facilities offer same-day help. You may qualify even without enrolling in VA health care.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our medical center and clinics provide consultation, evaluation, and treatment for a range of issues that may impact your mental health or emotional well-being. Our confidential outpatient services include individual and group therapy for:

  • Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression
  • Marriage and relationship problems
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety, addictive behaviors, and personality disorders
  • Aggressive or self-harming behaviors

Learn more and connect with a care coordinator

Military sexual trauma can happen to both genders. If you experienced sexual assault or harassment during military service—no matter when you served—we provide counseling and treatment.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We offer care for military sexual trauma in our mental (behavioral) health and specialty clinics. Military sexual trauma refers to sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other threatening, offensive, or unwanted sexual advances, activities, or remarks that you experienced in the military. Our goal is to help you improve your quality of life with strategies to manage emotions and memories related to your military sexual trauma. Our services include:

  • Counseling
  • Psychiatric care
  • Walk-in care

Learn more about military sexual trauma

If you have symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic event, we can help. We offer assessment and treatment support such as private counseling, group therapy and medication. It’s never too late to get help.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD. We can help you with effective treatments and support services, like:

  • Psychiatric and psychological counseling
  • Services for Veterans who are homeless
  • Treatment for addictive disorders
  • Transition and care management for post-9/11 combat Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND)

Learn more about PTSD

If you’re struggling with a mental health problem—or just need to talk with someone—we can help. We offer treatment and support such as therapy, alternative treatments  and medications when needed.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Visit our mental health services page to learn more about our programs and treatment options

If you’re struggling with a mental health problem—or just need to talk with someone—we can help. We offer treatment and support such as therapy, alternative treatments and medications when needed.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Visit our mental health services page to learn more about our programs and treatment options

Call our Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (select 1) for free, private help anytime 24/7. Our local suicide prevention coordinators can also connect you with ongoing counseling and services.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We work with behavioral health providers and community organizations to help you and your family during times of crisis. We offer:

  • Suicide prevention care coordinators
  • Suicide prevention case managers
  • Gun safety locks

Learn more and connect with a care coordinator

Specialty care

We offer services and treatment for Veterans with allergies, asthma and other immune system conditions.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We diagnose, evaluate, and treat your asthma, allergies, and non-HIV immune deficiencies. Our services include:

  • Skin tests, blood tests, and other exams to identify food, drug, insect, pollen, animal, dust, and other allergies
  • Prescribing and managing allergy medications that can ease your symptoms by reducing your immune system response to the things that cause your allergic reaction
  • Performing asthma tests to measure lung function and see how much air moves in and out as you breathe
  • Prescribing long-term and quick-relief asthma medications to reduce inflammation and open your swollen airways
  • Specialized treatments for your immune deficiency disorders

The anesthesia service works to keep you comfortable, safe and pain-free during surgical or screening procedures.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our specially trained doctors, called anesthesiologists, can help with your care before, during, and after surgery. They will develop a plan for your care and safety, provide medicine to keep you comfortable during your operation, and help you manage your pain after surgery. Our services include:

  • General anesthesia (intravenous drugs, inhaled gasses, or some combination) to keep you pain-free and in a sleep-like state during surgery or other medical procedures
  • Regional anesthesia (injecting numbing drugs around nerves) to control pain in specific parts of your body during or after surgery
  • Monitoring your breathing and vital body functions while you’re under anesthesia
  • Working with the rest of your care team to manage your pain medications after your operation
  • Coordinating care with your other health care professionals to facilitate a smooth transition from hospital to home

Watch a short patient education video that covers nerve block catheter and pain pump management:

Nerve Block System Regional Anesthesia & Acute Pain Management System (video link)

Common conditions: tinnitus, vertigo, hearing loss, vestibular conditions, swallowing conditions

We diagnose and treat conditions affecting your hearing, speech or balance. These include hearing loss, tinnitus (noise or ringing the ears) and dizziness—also speech, language, voice or swallowing disorders.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our audiology clinical staff provide diagnostic and rehabilitative services, VA compensation and pension examinations, and screening for employee hearing conservation. We offer a full range of audiology services to include:

  • Hearing and balance evaluations to include ototoxic monitoring
  • Tinnitus management (ringing, buzzing, and/or noises in the ear)
  • Hearing conservation
  • Selection, evaluation, programming, and management of hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone-anchored implants, and assistive listening devices
  • Aural rehabilitation for patients and family members
  • Evaluation and treatment for auditory processing disorder

Learn more about VA hearing aids

Our speech pathology clinical staff provide diagnostic and rehabilitative services. We offer a full range of speech pathology services to include:

  • Speech, language, and articulation assessment including stroke evaluations
  • Voice gender affirming therapy
  • Executive functioning and problem solving management
  • Cognitive assessments including traumatic brain injury evaluations
  • Management of head and neck cancer and laryngectomee patients
  • Stuttering therapy
  • Swallowing therapy

Bariatric surgery is an approach to help you improve your health and quality of life by losing weight.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Bariatric surgery, also called weight-loss surgery, reduces the size of your stomach and small intestine to limit the amount of food you can eat or absorb. Bariatric surgery can be done in several ways, like:

  • Gastric bypass, which shrinks your stomach size and re-routes your digestive system, so you don’t absorb as much food
  • Sleeve gastrectomy, which removes part of your stomach, leaving only a slender “sleeve” that holds less food
Common conditions: macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, corneal diseases, retinitis pigmentosa, uveitis, stroke and injury-related vision loss

We offer advanced vision care and blind rehabilitation services to help you live independently. These may include vision-enhancing devices and technology as well as visual skills and related training.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our Western Blind Rehabilitation Center provides comprehensive and specialty vision rehabilitation programs for Veterans who are visually impaired, including:

  • Comprehensive eye exams
  • Visual skills assessments
  • Guidance on how to develop visual motor and perceptual skills
  • Training to help you manage daily activities with your vision loss
Common conditions: coronavirus, COVID-19
We provide COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans as well as their spouses and caregivers. We also provide vaccines to Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) recipients and VA staff.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

  • COVID-19 vaccines for eligible Veterans and staff

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines at VA

Common conditions: heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, angina, vascular diseases

Our cardiology specialists offer advanced treatment and care for conditions affecting your heart and blood vessels, including heart disease, stroke, heart rhythm disorders and high blood pressure. 

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We perform noninvasive and minimally invasive tests and procedures that check, support, and improve your heart health. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan and treat you with the most effective medications. Our services include:

  • Evaluating you for coronary heart disease, heart-valve disease, and heart defects
  • Determining how well blood flows through your heart vessels or find the cause of your heart failure
  • Treating your heart vessels with nonsurgical or minimally invasive operations that open and support them through balloon angioplasty or stent placement
  • Noninvasively monitoring you for changes in heart rhythm, using electrocardiograms (EKGs or ECGs), portable Holt monitors, or ultrasound
  • Performing surgical treatments like pacemaker implants or cardiac catheterization (inserting a long, thin tube into an artery or vein)

Chiropractors work closely with your health care team to diagnose and manage muscle and joint conditions, including problems in the back, neck and other areas.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Chiropractic care restores, improves, and maintains your function, activity, and health. We work with your primary care doctor and other specialty care providers to provide a complete health care plan for you. We offer many treatments, like:

  • Spinal manipulative therapy to relieve pressure on your joints and reduce inflammation
  • Electrical stimulation therapy, which reduces pain by sending mild electrical pulses through your skin to help stimulate injured muscles or manipulate nerves
  • Soft-tissue mobilization, which uses gentle pressure or massage to relax tense muscles, reduce scar tissue, or stretch connective tissue
  • Patient education and active rehabilitation

Instructional videos for patients

These video are for training purposes only. If you need additional instructions or have any concerns, please discontinue use and contact your provider as soon as possible. Please verify which device you were issued and follow the corresponding video below for instructions.

Intensity TWIN STIM III TENS-EMS unit instructions (video link)

Ultima5 TENS unit instructions (video link)

We offer compassionate, expert care and surgical services to Veterans with conditions affecting the small bowel, colon, rectum and pelvic floor.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a screening exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum. Cancer of the colon and rectum is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Screening of this cancer can prevent many deaths.

Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography (ERCP): An ERCP is an examination to study the draining system of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas by injecting dye and taking an x-ray.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): An EGD is an examination that allows your doctor to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (beginning of small intestine).

Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS): Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) allows your doctor to examine your esophageal and stomach linings as well as the walls of your upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. The upper tract consists of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum; the lower tract includes your colon and rectum. EUS is also used to study other organs that are near the gastrointestinal tract, including the lungs, liver, gall bladder and pancreas.

Sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy is an examination of your rectum and the first part of your sigmoid colon (lower intestine) with a flexible tube.

Instructional videos for patients

Colonoscopy at VA Palo Alto (video link)
What to expect and how to prepare for your colonoscopy

Common conditions: teeth cleaning, fillings, restorations, root canal, bridges, dental implants, dentures

If you’re eligible for VA dental care, we provide dental screenings, cleanings, X-rays and fillings. We also provide specialty dental procedures like root canal, restorations and dentures.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

If you’re eligible for VA dental care, we offer a full range of quality dental services like:

  • Routine exams and teeth cleaning
  • Restorative procedures, including fillings and crowns
  • Comprehensive surgical care, including extractions (pulling teeth) and oral cancer screening
  • Routine and advanced prosthodontic care, including bridges, dentures, and dental implants
  • Routine and advanced periodontal care, including root canals, gum treatments, and supporting bone care
  • Oral and facial reconstruction surgery to repair damage from traumatic injury or serious illness
Common conditions: psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, acne, rosacea, allergic skin diseases, ulcers

Our dermatologists offer expert treatment for a range of conditions that affect your skin, hair and nails—from acne to psoriasis to skin cancer. We also offer skin cancer screening and education.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We provide care for many medical and surgical skin conditions. Our dermatology services include:

  • Medically necessary treatments for skin conditions like skin cancer and rashes
  • Specialized treatments for acute (short-term) and chronic (long-lasting) skin conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, warts, and fungal illnesses
  • Evaluation, biopsy, and treatment of cancerous or pre-cancerous skin conditions, like abnormal moles and lesions.
  • Referrals for complex conditions
  • Teledermatology (a telehealth resource), which gives patients quick access to expert opinions
Common conditions: Diabetes type 1 and type 2

We offer treatment for type 1 and 2 diabetes. We work with you, your family and caregivers to help you live a healthier life through treatment, monitoring, diet and education.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Medically necessary treatments for skin conditions like skin cancer and rashes

  • Self-management, education, and support classes
  • Insulin therapy and blood-glucose meter training
  • Diabetes survival skills that include sick-day management, lifestyle changes, nutrition advice, and cooking classes
Common conditions: reflux, GERD, Barrett's esophagus, endoscopy, colonoscopy

Our gastrointestinal (GI) specialists offer screening and treatment for conditions affecting your GI tract, gallbladder, liver and pancreas—like reflux, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis and pancreatitis.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We diagnose and treat medical conditions in your esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, and other parts of your digestive system. We can also test and treat other organs, like your liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Our gastroenterology department provides services like:

  • Colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), which use an endoscope (a long, flexible tube with a small camera on the end) that lets us examine your digestive system
  • Endoscopic ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create images that help us diagnose and evaluate digestive and lung diseases
  • Small bowel capsule endoscopy, which uses a tiny wireless camera that takes pictures as it moves through your digestive system
  • 24-hour pH study, which measures how much stomach acid is flowing into your esophagus and helps us assess conditions like severe heartburn and acid reflux
Common conditions: HIV/AIDS, hepatitis A/B/C

If you have a diagnosis of HIV or hepatitis A, B or C, we can provide you with the latest treatment methods and support. We also offer prevention education and testing for these infectious diseases.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

If you and your family are living with HIV or hepatitis, our dedicated professionals can provide compassionate care and counseling. Our confidential services include:

  • HIV testing and treatment
  • Medication (PEP) taken after potential exposure to HIV
  • Specialty care referrals
  • One-to-one patient education

If you have a diagnosis of anemia, lymphoma, leukemia or another blood cancer or disorder, we support you with expert care and treatment.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We offer a range of hematology and oncology services. You can arrange appointments and consultation through your primary care provider. Our hematology and oncology services include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Blood and platelet transfusions
  • Mediport flushes to clean and maintain the small medical appliance inserted under your skin, making it easier to inject drugs and draw blood
  • Evaluation and treatment of blood disorders and cancer
  • Dedicated outpatient infusion center, working closely with radiation oncology, interventional radiology, general surgery, diagnostics, palliative care, and social services
  • Bone marrow biopsies, to see whether your bone tissue is healthy and making a normal number of blood cells

We evaluate and treat Veterans with infections including hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We evaluate and treat Veterans for serious or complex infections, including:

  • Bone/joint infections
  • Heart and vascular infections
  • Complex lung, kidney/bladder infections
  • Serious or recurrent skin and soft tissue infections
  • Brain/spinal cord (central nervous system) infections
  • Infections in immunocompromised persons
  • Travel-related infection/illness
  • Tuberculosis
  • Valley fever

We also provide services for those seeking pre-travel vaccine/prevention recommendations, and HIV prevention counseling and treatments (PrEP).

State-of-the art care for Veterans with HIV/AIDS is delivered in the VA Palo Alto Immune Clinic (see “HIV/hepatitis care”).

We offer blood tests and other advanced testing services to help you and your VA health care team monitor your health, find and understand any health problems and make informed treatment decisions.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our laboratories provide a full range of clinical and diagnostic testing services. Our laboratory and pathology services include:

  • Study of blood, urine, and other bodily fluids for illness management
  • Testing for infectious diseases
  • Cytopathology (study of unusual cells) and surgical pathology (study of tissue removed during surgery)
  • Autopsy services
Common conditions: overweight, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure

We offer easy-to-follow weight management plans backed by the latest science. Our experts can help you reduce health risks, prevent or reverse some diseases and live a better—and even longer—life.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

MOVE! is a weight-management program designed to help you live a longer, healthier life. The program’s comprehensive approach focuses on healthy eating, staying physically active, and strategies to make and maintain these healthy lifestyle habits. The MOVE! program offers:

  • Group classes, where you will learn and discuss in a positive, supportive environment
  • An evidence-based curriculum based on sound science
  • Behavioral change strategies that focus on your long-term health and well-being
  • A team of clinicians and health coaches who work throughout VA Palo Alto health care

Learn more and get started with the MOVE! Introduction class at VA Palo Alto. Virtual appointments are available. View scheduling information under Whole health offerings.

You can also learn more about the MOVE! program, and access weight management and healthy living resources on VA’s MOVE! weight management program website.

Common conditions: cognitive disorders, epilepsy, headache motor neuron and movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, stroke

Our specialists evaluate and treat conditions and diseases of the brain, spine, and nervous system, including headache, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We provide inpatient and outpatient services for chronic diseases and disorders that affect your brain, spine, and the nerves that connect them. Our neurologists read electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, which measure the electrical impulses brain cells use to communicate with each other. We evaluate and treat many neurological illnesses and disorders such as:

  • Neuropathy (nerve damage), myelopathy and other spinal cord injuries, and radiculopathy (pinched nerves)
  • Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke, dementia, and degenerative diseases
  • Other neurological conditions

We provide expert care and surgical services for Veterans with conditions and diseases that affect the brain, spine and nervous system.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Although many people think of neurosurgery as brain surgery, it’s much more. Our neurosurgeons diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions related to your nervous system, like:

  • Brain, spinal cord, and spinal column injuries, illnesses, and disorders
  • Brain and spinal tumors
  • Neck pain and sciatica (nerve pain in your lower back hip, or leg)
  • Herniated disks and degenerative illnesses of the spine

Our nutrition experts work closely with you and your care team to help make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need to get and stay as healthy as possible.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our registered dietitians can help you maintain or improve your health with good nutrition tailored to your needs. Through group, individual, and telehealth sessions, we provide nutrition education and counseling in areas such as:

  • Cardiovascular and heart health
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes (including gestational diabetes)
  • Eating disorders and digestive health
  • Pregnancy and postpartum nutrition
  • Weight management
Common conditions: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease

Our ophthalmology specialists diagnose and provide medical and surgical care for conditions that affect your eyes—like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. 

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We offer comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for eye-related illnesses, injuries, and other issues. Our ophthalmology services include:

  • Medical care for glaucoma, eye infections, and other conditions
  • Surgery for cataracts, traumatic eye injuries, and other problems
  • Treatment for eye conditions related to illnesses like diabetes or arthritis
  • Plastic surgery to repair droopy eyelids, clear blocked tear ducts, and perform eyelid and facial reconstruction (oculoplastics)
Common conditions: vision exams, prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses

Our optometrists offer you routine eye exams, preventive vision testing and treatment for conditions like glaucoma. We also provide prescriptions for eyeglasses and other assistive devices.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our optometrists provide many eye-related services and treatments like:

  • Vision services and eye exams
  • Treatment for diseases and injuries of the retina, cornea, and other parts of your eye
  • Low-vision services for conditions like macular degeneration that can’t be corrected by glasses, surgery, or medication
  • Brain injury vision rehabilitative services for those suffering visual deficits from head trauma and strokes.
  • Special eye exams for diabetic patients
  • Brain injury vision rehabilitative services for those suffering visual deficits from head trauma and strokes
Common conditions: arthritis, musculoskeletal disorders, tendon and ligament repair, joint replacement

Our orthopedists offer advanced care and treatment for issues related to muscles, bones and joints, including arthritis, disorders of the muscles and bones, tendon and ligament repair and joint replacement.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our service deals with musculoskeletal problems of the arms and legs that may need surgery. These include fractures of bones, joint problems such as arthritis, injuries to tendons and ligaments, and orthopedic tumors in any location. Presently, spine problems are addressed by either physical medicine and rehabilitation (non-surgical) or neurosurgery (surgical). Hand problems are addressed by the Hand Service that is run by Plastic Surgery.

We personally see patients in Palo Alto, Livermore, San Jose, and Monterey. We also provide orthopedic consultations for Veterans in their own homes with VA telemedicine technology. Telemedicine visits can be done for Veterans in any location as long as they have a computer and an adequate internet connection.

Contact us

A consult from your primary care physician is required to schedule a clinic appointment. Our main number is 650-493-5000 ext. 66101.

Instructional videos for patients

Joint replacement surgery pre-op class (video link)
What to expect when having joint replacement surgery

Feedback survey / Question form

Total knee replacement at VA Palo Alto (video link)
What to expect when having total knee replacement surgery

Physical therapy after total knee replacement (video link)
Exercises you should do before and after surgery

Total hip replacement surgery at VA Palo Alto (video link)
How to prepare for surgery and what to expect before, during and after your hospitalization

Nerve block system regional anesthesia (video link)
Learn more about the procedure

Resources

Common conditions: balance issues, sinusitis, difficulty swallowing, obstructive sleep apnea, head and neck tumors

We provide a full range of care for Veterans who have problems that affect their ears, sinuses, adenoids, tonsils and thyroid.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We evaluate, diagnose, and treat a wide range of ear, nose, and throat conditions, like:

  • Nasal and sinus problems
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Throat, lymph node, thyroid, and parathyroid tumors and other conditions
  • Voice and swallowing disorders
Common conditions: pain, stroke, brain injury, neuromuscular disorders, musculoskeletal problems, sports injuries, spinal cord injuries

If you’re living with a traumatic brain injury, amputation or other disability, our specialists offer support to help you improve your independence and quality of life, manage pain and stay healthy.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors and therapists focus on whole-body health. They can help you manage your pain, increase your independence, and improve your quality of life with services like:

  • Personalized therapy for your rehabilitation
  • Medication, stretching, and massage for short-term pain relief
  • Strengthening exercises and movement therapy to increase fitness and prevent future pain
  • Recreation therapy to create coping and social skills
  • Occupational therapy to improve coordination and balance, and help you manage life skills and everyday activities
  • Assessment and treatment of speech, language, and swallowing disorders

Physical therapy, occupational therapy and kinesiotherapy can help restore movement and function if you have been disabled by injury or disease.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

If you’re living with or recovering from an injury, illness, or chronic condition that limits your mobility and independence, we can help. Our physical, occupational, and movement therapists combine therapeutic exercise, counseling, education, and training to help you improve your health and quality of life. Our services include:

  • Pain relief and joint mobilization
  • Movement and exercise therapies to improve your strength, endurance, balance, and coordination
  • Mobility assessment and training with wheelchairs, scooters, and walking devices
  • Life skills training and activities to help you maintain the highest level of independence and functionality
  • Aquatic therapy to manage chronic pain
  • Evaluation and treatment for a wide range of medical, orthopedic, psychosocial, and neurological conditions
Common conditions: arthritis, bunions, diabetic foot care, foot deformities, skin and nail conditions

Our podiatry specialists evaluate and treat a wide range of injuries, diseases and disorders that affect your feet and ankles—from ingrown toenails to inflammation to diabetic foot ulcers.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

After years of walking, running, marching, jumping, rappelling, and parachuting, many Veterans experience trouble with their feet and ankles. We can help treat those problems so you can continue to enjoy an active lifestyle. Our podiatry services include:

  • Arthritis care for inflamed, swollen, or damaged joints
  • Foot and ankle fracture treatment; repair of cartilage, torn tendons and ligaments
  • Injections to reduce pain and swelling
  • Joint arthroplasty (surgical repair or reconstruction) and replacement
  • Minimally invasive surgery and post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Foot health maintenance procedures (bunion removal, resurfacing, and nail trimming)

We provide a thoughtful, wide-ranging approach to treating Veterans who have injuries to multiple body systems caused by a single event.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our specialized rehabilitation program network serves severely injured Veterans and service members who have multiple combat- or civilian-related traumatic injuries. We offer:

  • Physical, visual, and cognitive rehabilitation
  • State-of-the-art prosthetics
  • Psychological and psychosocial services
  • Ongoing case management services
Common conditions: tuberculosis, respiratory conditions, sleep apnea, sleep problems

Our pulmonary medicine team treats diseases and conditions that affect the lungs and breathing, including asthma, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome and sleep apnea.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

If you find it difficult to breathe or sleep, our pulmonary (lung) specialists can help. We offer education, exercises, and treatments like:

  • Oxygen therapy to help you stay active and breathe better
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation to build your strength and increase lung capacity
  • Healthy diets to help you manage your weight and improve energy
  • Strategies to help you increase your feelings of control, optimism, and self-esteem
  • Tests to measure your lung function, lung volume, and blood gas
We use imaging to help screen for, diagnose, and treat illness and injury. We provide X-rays and other imaging technologies.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We offer radiology and imaging services to diagnose and treat many medical conditions. Our services include:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • Mammography (mammograms)
  • Computer tomography (CT)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

We provide medical care and rehabilitation services to Veterans in our Community Living Center and in their homes. Services include home-based primary care, medical foster home support, and hospice and palliative care.  

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We provide long-term care to help you and your family when you’re dealing with a disability, chronic (long-lasting) illness, terminal illness, or serious health issues related to aging. Our long-term health care services include:

  • 24/7 nursing and medical care
  • Physical therapy
  • Help with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, making meals, and taking medicine
  • Pain management and palliative care to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for people with serious illnesses
  • Hospice care to provide comfort and compassionate care for people in the last phases of an incurable illness

Learn more about VA long-term care

We provide and help you use medical aids, hearing aids, state-of-the-art adaptive home equipment and other equipment to help you preserve and increase your mobility and independence.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

VA is the world’s largest and most comprehensive provider of sensory aides and prosthetic devices. Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system and referred by a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician can receive a full range of services and equipment like:

  • Artificial limbs and surgical implants, including artificial joints and pacemakers
  • Wheelchairs and other medical devices
  • Aids for Veterans who are blind, have low vision, or are hearing impaired
  • Adaptive equipment and modifications to make your vehicle or home more accessible
  • Other devices and services to help increase your mobility, dignity, and independence
  • Clothing allowance for Veterans with devices that damage their clothing
Common conditions: insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, sleepwalking

The sleep medicine service diagnoses and treats your sleep problems, including trouble sleeping, breathing difficulties while sleeping, snoring, teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

At various points in our lives, all of us suffer from a lack of sleep. But, if you are spending enough time in bed and still wake up tired or feel very sleepy during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. We can help. Our sleep specialists can:

  • Diagnose and treat sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
  • Monitor your blood oxygen levels and heart rate
  • Study your brain waves during sleep
  • Evaluate possible causes for your excessive sleepiness
  • Conduct sleep tests performed at home or in the lab
  • Work with your doctors if you need surgery or dental appliances to help you get a good night’s sleep

If you are trying to quit smoking or want to stop using tobacco, we can help you with support, resources and programs.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

You can quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Our goal is to provide support and strategies to add to optional nicotine replacement therapy prescribed by your primary care doctor. These include:

  • TeleQuit Program: 650-493-5000, ext. 60557 - to quit smoking or stop using nicotine products, including cigarettes, vape, and smokeless tobacco.
  • FDA-approved medications to manage nicotine withdrawal and the urge to smoke.
  • Counseling in person or by phone
  • Tobacco Cessation Quitline for individual counseling and strategies
  • SmokefreeVET text message program for daily advice and interactive support
  • Stay Quit Coach mobile app to help you quit smoking and stay smoke-free

Learn more about how to quit

If you have a spinal cord injury or disorder, our specialists provide coordinated care throughout your life. We work to help you achieve your goals for independence, productivity and quality of life.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

VA has the nation’s largest system of care for spinal cord injuries and disorders. We provide a convenient, connected network of experts to care for you during each phase of your life. Our experienced primary care providers are trained to check for problems unique to spinal cord injuries.

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation care
  • Annual wellness checks
  • Medical and surgical care for spinal cord injury complications
  • Wound management
  • Bowel, bladder, and sexuality management
  • Evaluation of medication, supplies, and equipment needs

Learn more about the VA spinal cord injuries and disorders care system

If you are having surgery, we make sure that your procedure and follow-up care are safe and high-quality.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We provide a wide range of surgical services, like:

  • General surgery
  • Anesthesia
  • Cardiac surgery (heart and major blood vessels)
  • Neurosurgery (brain, spinal column, and nerves)
  • Orthopedic surgery (bones, muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons)
  • Organ and tissue transplants
Common conditions: prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, urinary disorders

We offer understanding and advanced care and treatment to Veterans with conditions that affect the male urinary and reproductive systems and the female urinary system. 

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We evaluate, diagnose, and treat a wide range of urology diseases and conditions that include kidney stones, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, prostate cancer, and more. We provide you with medical care, surgery, and minimally invasive procedures for health issues that affect:

  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Ureter and urethra
  • Male reproductive organs
Common conditions: vascular conditions, varicose veins

Our expert team diagnoses and treats diseases and conditions that affect arteries, veins and blood circulation.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our vascular surgeons treat illnesses of your arteries and veins. Our surgeons can treat these problems with medication and exercise. Vascular illness causes include:

  • Arteriosclerosis and/or atherosclerosis (caused by the buildup of plaque in your arteries that restricts blood flow to your organs and tissues)
  • Aortic aneurysm and aortic valve disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis and blockage by a blood clot or fatty deposit
  • Varicose veins
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of your blood vessels)
  • Varicose veins
  • Trauma or injury

We provide thoughtful, compassionate diagnosis and treatment for Veterans with acute or chronic wounds or those who need ostomy care.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Healing your wounds is an important step in your recovery and rehabilitation. Our wound care team will assess your wound, determine where you are in the healing process, and provide a treatment plan for your care. If you’ve had ostomy surgery and are living with either a temporary or permanent stoma (a surgical opening to allow urine, feces, or body fluids to exit your body), we can help you manage the care of your stoma, make good product choices, and cope with the effects of ostomy surgery. We provide care and support for:

  • Open, non-healing, and hard-to-heal wounds
  • Localized incisions and infected or draining wounds
  • Pressure injuries (also known as bedsores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers)
  • Amputations
  • Wounds or leaking seals around your stoma
  • Skin rashes

Social programs and services

Our adaptive sports program helps disabled Veterans live active and healthy lives through recreation and athletics.

VA’s Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events provides Veterans with opportunities for health and healing through adaptive sports and therapeutic art programs. These specialized rehabilitation events aim to optimize Veterans’ independence, community engagement, well-being, and quality of life.

The programs are built on clinical expertise within VA, with essential support from Veteran Service Organizations, corporate sponsors, individual donors and community partners.

The VA Palo Alto adaptive sports branch aims to connect local Veterans with these resources and additional care, including a monthly on-site integrative clinic addressing individual medical needs and treatment.

The VA Palo Alto Adaptive Sports Medicine Program consists of a team of PM&R and sports medicine physicians, chiropractors, recreation therapists, and physical therapists specialized in treating the adaptive athlete.

We treat injuries, pain and functional issues and also provide athletic training and/or sports performance for Veteran athletes involved in adaptive sports.

If you are interested in joining one of our classes, please call Huy Diep at 650-493-5000 ext. 67538.

Please visit our Facebook page to learn more about the program and read our monthly blog posts for interesting articles related to adaptive sports.

Team members

Our physicians

  • Jeff Teraoka, MD
  • Constance Chu, MD
  • Anne Kuwabara, MD
  • Emily Kraus, MD
  • Cameron Fausett, MD

Our chiropractors

  • Annie Babikian, DC, DACBSP

Our physical therapists

  • Debbie Pitsch, MPT
  • Stephanie Klitgord, MPT

Our recreation therapists

  • Huy Diep, CTRS
  • Kimberly Beck, MS, CTRS
  • Shawna Hill, CTRS, RYT
  • Lindsay Conner, MS, CTRS
  • Andy Duprey, RT
  • Alisa Krinsky MS, CTRS

Our occupational therapists

  • Sharon Dekelboum, OTR/L, ATP

Our community leaders

  • Steven Toyoji, Riekes Center
  • Tim Dempsey, Riekes Center
  • April Wolfe, City of Reno
  • Maggie Palchak, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra
If you are caring for a Veteran with serious illness or disabilities, we can help you support them—and take care of yourself. You may qualify for services like training, counseling or respite care when you need a break.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

If you’re a caregiver for a Veteran, you can get support by contacting one of our caregiver support coordinators. If the Veteran you care for was injured post-9/11, you may be eligible for even more services, including a stipend to help with expenses, training, and medical coverage if you aren’t already covered. For all caregivers, we can:

  • Help you get caregiver assistance available through VA
  • Provide progressive needs planning to help you manage degenerative conditions
  • Match you with services and benefits
  • Connect you with local resources and programs
  • Listen to you when you struggle

Learn more and connect with a support coordinator

If you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, we can help. We offer many programs and services, including free health care. And we can help you connect with resources in your community.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We help Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless due to financial hardship, unemployment, addiction, depression, or transition from jail. Contact us to get help with:

  • Immediate food and shelter, including both transitional and permanent housing
  • Residential rehabilitation
  • Job training, life skills development, and education
  • Support with justice system navigation and community re-entry from jail
  • Financial support to prevent homelessness
  • Treatment for addiction and depression
  • Health and dental care

Learn more

If you're a Veteran who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, or a related identity, we’re committed to serving your needs. The LGBTQ+ Veteran care coordinator at your VA health care facility can help you get the care you need in a safe, sensitive environment.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We promote the health, welfare, and dignity of Veterans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) or a related identity. We focus on ensuring a safe, welcoming, and affirmative environment when providing you with sensitive and high-quality health care services like:

  • Hormone therapy
  • Substance use and alcohol treatment
  • Testing and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI)
  • Mental health care
  • Psychosocial assessments for gender-confirming surgeries and hormone therapy
  • Voice gender affirming therapy

Learn more and connect with a care coordinator

We offer resources and support for minority Veterans to help address your specific needs with benefits and services at VA.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

If you’re a minority Veteran, we can help you get the services and benefits you need. Our Minority Veterans Program serves all Veterans who are Black American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American (including American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Island Americans). We work to:

  • Help the medical center address minority Veterans’ needs
  • Meet minority Veterans’ needs in the local community
  • Identify barriers and create a more accessible environment for minority Veterans
  • Inform minority Veterans of VA benefits, services, and programs

Learn more and connect with a care coordinator

VA wants to make sure that you get the best possible care. If you need help finding care or getting problems resolved, please contact a patient advocate.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our patient advocates work hard to make sure you receive the best possible care at our health care facilities. They can:

  • Help you get answers or address concerns with your care team
  • Advocate for patient and family rights
  • Serve as advocates for minority Veterans, women Veterans, and Veterans with disabilities
  • Offer specialized help to former prisoners of war and Veterans transitioning from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND)

Learn more and connect with a patient advocate

We offer a wide range of activities (arts and crafts, games, sports, exercise) that we can adapt to your needs.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Recreation and creative arts therapists provide non-traditional and innovative techniques that assist Veterans in reaching their treatment goals and obtaining improved health and quality of life. Our services include:

  • Assess leisure functioning
  • Develop programs based on assessed needs
  • Implement and evaluate programs
  • Discharge planning
  • Community reintegration outings
  • Public transportation education and utilization
  • Community resource development
  • Adaptive sports participation
  • Evaluation of adaptive equipment
  • Leisure education with Veterans and their families
  • Water and land-based fitness and wellness programs
  • Use of therapy dogs
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Stress management
  • Relapse prevention
  • Coping techniques

Please note: The pools and fitness facilities at VA Palo Alto and Menlo Park are now open for clinic appointments and self-directed use. Due to social distancing requirements, self-directed users are required to reserve time to use these facilities, prior to visiting. To inquire about hours and new procedures, please call 650-493-5000, Palo Alto ext. 65531, or Menlo Park ext. 22841.

If you’re returning from military service, we can help you readjust to civilian life and get started with VA health care. We can also help connect you with programs like mental health services and education and career counseling.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We can help you readjust to civilian life if you’re returning from military service, on active duty, or an activated National Guard or Reserve member. Talk to one of our care coordinators about how to best use your health care benefits.

  • Polytrauma care (if you have multiple traumatic injuries)
  • Counseling and rehabilitation
  • Mental and behavioral health services
  • Family benefits counseling and assistance
  • Referral assistance

Learn more and connect with a coordinator

Social workers are here to help Veterans, families and caregivers with almost any need, from help with finances or housing to questions about treatment to just feeling overwhelmed. We are here for you.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Social work is integral to health care. We can help you and your family manage stress-related problems due to injury or illness, and find VA community resources to meet your needs like:

  • Home health services
  • Legal services
  • Transportation
  • Community living
Common conditions: women's primary care, mental health, obstetrics and gynecology, pap smear, mammogram

We offer women’s health services to meet your specific needs such as disease screenings, mental health treatment, recovery from military sexual trauma, maternity care and female-specific medical equipment.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Our women's health program offers comprehensive health care for women Veterans of all ages. Our women’s health primary care providers (WH-PCPs) specialize in meeting women’s health care needs at all primary care clinics throughout the health care system.

Women’s health PCPs work closely with specialists in gynecology, obstetrics, pelvic floor therapy, oncology, cardiology, rheumatology, anesthesia pain, mental health, and radiology.

Our services for women Veterans include:

  • Cervical cancer screening, menopause treatment, and routine immunizations
  • Family planning services, contraceptive care, and infertility evaluation
  • On-site 3D tomosynthesis screening mammography
  • VA breast care coordination and referral to diagnostic breast imaging centers
  • Office gynecology and surgical gynecology consultation
  • Integrated VA maternity care coordination and obstetrical care community care referral
  • Women’s health mental health and counseling services
  • Women’s health oncology, cardiology, and rheumatology consultation
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction physical therapy
  • Comprehensive pain evaluation and treatment
  • Lifestyle wellness services

Primary Women’s Health PACT care provided at all listed sites. Some specialty care may be limited to Palo Alto main site or through community care.

For women Veterans health care appointments

Call the Patient Scheduling and Messaging Unit (PSU).

Phone: 855-632-8262

For questions regarding services at VA Palo Alto health care, reach out to our Women Veterans Program Manager at 650-493-5000 ext. 64851.

Other services

With VA telehealth, you can get care from your health providers without having to travel. Get checkups and treatment, talk about your care and more—from home or elsewhere.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

We use the latest in secure digital technology to set up remote visits with our health care providers. We offer video conferencing, home telehealth services, and store-and-forward telehealth that lets you securely send your health information to experts at VA facilities. We offer telehealth visits with providers in:

  • Mental health
  • Retinal care (eye)
  • Bariatric surgery (visit remotely with your weight-loss surgery team before and after your operation)
  • Dermatology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Primary care

Learn more about telehealth

We can help you reach your job and career goals with one-on-one support, counseling and training. Many graduates of our programs go on to work here at VA.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

The Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) program helps Veterans with physical and mental health challenges, as well as other barriers, find and keep jobs. We help you find jobs through our long-term partnerships with business, industry, and government agencies.

We offer the following services:

  • Our Transitional Work Program matches Veterans' skills with specific, short-term job placements and provides supervision to help them gain work experience
  • Our Supported Employment Program has two components: one provides long-term support for Veterans with serious mental illnesses to help them gain employment in their communities, and the other provides similar services to Veterans with physical and/or psychosocial barriers as well as those at risk of homelessness
  • Our Transitional Residence Program provides a structured, therapeutic living environment in which Veterans participate in vocational rehabilitation activities at least 30 hours per week
  • Supported Education provides case-managed, recovery-oriented educational assistance services to Veterans who wish to pursue educational opportunities
  • We offer vocational assistance to help Veterans improve their job-search and career development skills

Watch our video

Learn more about VA vocational rehabilitation

Whole health puts you at the center of care, rather than your illnesses or conditions. We work with you to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs, and goals.

Available at these locations

Care we provide at VA Palo Alto health care

Whole health centers around what matters to you, not what is the matter with you. This means working with you to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs, and goals. A plan that you and your health care team will use to guide and plan your care throughout your VA experience. Whole health integrates not only traditional clinical care, but helps to activate you on self-care skills and tools to keep you healthy and doing the things that work for you. In addition, whole health is helping to make more complementary and integrative health offerings available.

Call 650-849-0131 to speak with a Whole Health Coach today!

Well-being:

  • Tai chi / Qi gong
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Guided imagery

Treatment

  • Chiropractor and acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Clinical hypnosis
  • Massage therapy

View our whole health offerings

Learn more about VA whole health