Advanced Heart Failure
Lutheran Medical Group’s advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology teams provide comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for advanced heart failure and heart transplant patients. Lutheran Hospital’s heart transplant program begin in 1985, and more than 300 patients have received new hearts since the program’s inception.
Conditions such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, heart irregularities, heart muscle disease, obesity, valve problems and viral infections can lead to heart failure. When the heart is damaged, it cannot adequately pump blood through the body. This poor circulation results in symptoms such as fatigue, irregular heart rhythms, shortness of breath and swelling in the ankles and feet. Heart failure is a chronic, progressive disease, but patients whose symptoms are properly managed can live for years.
Although medications, lifestyle changes and/or supervised exercise in a cardiac rehabilitation program can reduce symptoms for some heart failure patients, it’s not enough for others, and some form of surgery may be required. The goals of surgery are to relieve symptoms so patients have more energy, breath easier, stay out of the hospital and live longer.
Common surgeries to treat advanced heart failure include:
- AED and pacemaker implantation
- Coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG)
- Heart valve surgeries
- Left ventricle reconstruction
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs)
- Heart transplants