Heart & Vascular

The UF Health Heart and Vascular Care program boasts a team of board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and vascular surgeons who work side by side to care for patients with cardiac, thoracic and vascular conditions. We have become the Southeast’s destination for treating the most complicated heart valve conditions, offering minimally invasive surgical options that lead to better results and faster recovery. From performing Florida’s first cardiac catheterization and open-heart surgeries in the 1950s to delivering the world’s first combined heart and bone marrow stem cell therapy in 2016, our program continues to set clinical, educational and research milestones in the state, nation and beyond.

1976 The nation’s first computerized cardiac catheterization lab, equipped to treat adults and children, opened at UF Health Shands

2004 UF surgeons opened the first hybrid operating room for vascular and cardiovascular procedures, which accommodates minimally invasive procedures with the help of radiology machines for visualization, as well as traditional open procedures; a second hybrid OR opened in September 2008

2014 UF Health Shands became one of the first centers in the country with branched and fenestrated devices available for minimally invasive treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms

The UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital fuses the latest medical technology with a state-of-the-art design and amenities that promote healing and recovery to optimize the patient experience. UF Health has the best lung transplant outcomes in the nation as reported by the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients. Our program tops the list as the best in the United States for one-year, risk-adjusted survival rates. As of January 2021, the program’s one-year postoperative survival rate is 98%, almost 10% higher than the national average. Similarly, the waitlist mortality rate is 4%, versus the national average of 18%, and boasts an average of 1.2 months for time to transplant. This facility includes:

  • Three hybrid heart and vascular operating rooms, featuring flexible diagnostic and surgical set-ups, which enable surgical teams to accommodate several different procedures simultaneously.
  • 72 private intensive care rooms, equipped with patient lifts, bedside dialysis and surgical procedure lights to lessen the need to move patients, as well as accommodations for family; 48 medical/surgical private inpatient rooms with accommodations for family.
  • Combined outpatient practice space with 20 exam rooms where cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons provide patients with evaluations, diagnoses and follow-up appointments.
  • Two cardiac catheterization labs.
  • A heart station featuring four vascular rooms; six echocardiogram, or EKG, rooms; two transesophageal echocardiogram, or TEE, rooms; and one EKG/Holter room.
  • A thoracic and vascular intensive care unit for patients recovering from lung transplants and those needing artificial lung support. This specialized ICU provides advantages, including the opportunity to walk about while receiving support from an artificial lung machine or getting out of bed the day after a lung transplant.

On Dec. 23, 1999, my granddaughter was born at UF Health Shands Hospital. She was a preemie and weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces. She barely fit in the palm of my son’s hand because she was so small. I can’t say enough about the children’s hospital Neonatal ICU nurses and doctors who cared for her. The care that was given to make her thrive makes me proud to work at Shands. My granddaughter is now taking classes to be a nurse, and she has a goal to eventually work at UF Health Shands because of the care that she received. I’ve just celebrated my 34th year here and I tell everyone that Shands is the best place to work, as they not only take care of patients, but their staff as well. Thank you.

Linda Breeden
UF Health Physicians Billing and Accounts Receivable