FCCI’s Advancements in Cardiology

Since 2002, our organization has built a reputation of providing compassionate care to the residents of Northeast Florida. We have consistently brought the latest advancements in medicine to the region, allowing our patients to be the first to benefit from exciting new technology.

More than 50 years ago, the general practitioner took care of all our medical needs. Since then, the revolution in cardiovascular medicine and technology has made it impossible for one physician to handle all of a patient’s needs. Increasingly, doctors have had to further sub-specialize in cardiovascular medicine creating fields like electrophysiology, endovascular, and interventional cardiovascular medicine.

Although cardiology is a relatively narrow field, advancements have swiftly progressed, furthering subspecialties for physicians to keep pace with medical innovation. Dr. Vaqar Ali, Vice President at First Coast Cardiovascular Institute, summarizes the secrets for a successful practice in “the rule of 3 T’s”: talent, tenacity, and tools. “We seek doctors with talent and tenacity to fight for the patients and provide them with the best in cutting edge tools. It defines who we are,” says Dr. Ali

Our extensive history of being the first in the area to bring new technology is an example of our dedication to the advancements in cardiovascular medicine.

A History of Firsts for First Coast Cardiovascular Institute:

In 2002 | 1st to establish a carotid stenting program and introduce amputation prevention through an endovascular approach in Jacksonville.

In 2007 | 1st to open a freestanding, hospital-independent outpatient Cath lab.

In 2008 | First to perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in Clay County.

In 2013 |First in Florida, in addition to UF Gainesville, to offer drug-eluting peripheral stents.

In 2014 | First to perform TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) at MHJ.

In 2015 | First to implant CardioMEMS in northeast Florida and first to offer an endovascular fellowship program in the area.

In 2016 | First to implant Mitra Clip in Clay County and among the first to implant WATCHMAN in Northeast Florida.

In 2019 | First in the nation to perform PCIs in an office-based catheterization lab for Aetna Members and the second in Florida for Florida Blue.

In 2021 | Second interventional cardiologists in the nation to perform percutaneous arteriovenous fistula (AVF) procedure without a surgical approach


Research in Cardiovascular Medicine

Another turning point in advancement of cardiovascular medicine is research. In 2007, FCCI established a clinical research department that has since enrolled more 3,000 patients. “By being active participants in clinical research, we ensure our patients are the first to benefit from exciting new technology in the cardiovascular field,” says Dr. Yazan Khatib, President of FCCI.

FCCI is proud to be taking part in the following research studies:

Zilver PTX

This is the world’s first FDA drug-eluting peripheral stent. Drug-eluting stents are small mesh tubes with a coating that expends a drug over time to keep blockages from coming back. Zilver PTX is used for the treatment of restenosis in above-the-knee femoropopliteal arteries.

V-Wave Interatrial Shunt

This is a minimally invasive implanted interatrial shunt device intended for treating patients with severe symptomatic heart failure. The shunt is designed to regulate left atrial pressure, providing symptom relief, decreasing hospitalization, and improving quality of life.

Detour System

FCCI is the first clinic in Florida to perform the Detour procedure. It is intended for patients suffering from peripheral arterial disease with a blockage in the main artery of the thigh. The procedure provides a new way for blood to travel down the leg.

Amputation Prevention

Advancements in cardiology have also allowed us to save legs for over a decade. There are many perceptions that amputation is inevitable if a patient has: bad kidneys, diabetes, and a non-healing wound. We shatter these misperceptions by offering hope to patients with these conditions.

Our amputation prevention center is the first of its kind and patients come from across the country to seek out FCCI for our endovascular services. Endovascular medicine is a relatively new branch of medicine, treating problems affecting the blood vessel. FCCI is a pioneer in endovascular medicine and has paved the way for amputation prevention.

With the endovascular approach, our physicians:

-Avoid open surgeries

-Prevent amputations in an outpatient setting

-Produce only a small incision in the wrist or groin.

In order to prevent amputation for our patients, we utilize a variety of testing resources to detect the blockage, and then transition the patient’s care to one of our endovascular experts who can determine a personalized treatment plan for healing and prevention. But of course, specialists and a facility are nothing without compassion, drive, and innovation. This is what sets us apart. Each patient is like our own family member and there is nothing we will stop at to ensure the highest quality of life possible.

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