End-Stage Heart Failure | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Advanced Heart Failure

What Is Advanced Heart Failure?

Advanced heart failure, sometimes called end-stage heart failure, is a quickly developing field of cardiology with rapid advances in new treatments. If heart failure progresses to persistently severe symptoms despite treatment, it is considered advanced heart failure.

The Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program employs sophisticated treatments — including more aggressive medication, mechanical pumps like ventricular assist devices, and access to heart transplants — to slow the progress of advanced heart failure and alleviate symptoms.

More patients with advanced heart failure and other heart conditions entrust their care to Norton Heart & Vascular Institute than any other provider in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologists and other specialists in the Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program are at the leading edge of sophisticated treatments.

What Are the Signs of Advanced Heart Failure?

In addition to severe shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling and reduced exercise capacity, advanced heart failure is characterized by a lack of improvement from medication and other treatments.

Advanced heart failure patients also frequently will have experienced some of the following:

  • More than two hospital stays or emergency room visits for heart failure in a year
  • Unexplained weight loss without other causes
  • Intolerance to ACE inhibitors or beta blockers
  • Dressing or bathing persistently requiring rest and causing shortness of breath
  • Unable to walk about 100 yards on level ground without fatigue or shortness of breath
  • Frequent shocks by a cardioverter-defibrillator

Advanced Heart Failure Treatments

The treatments available to patients with advanced heart failure are expanding rapidly. In the past, a diagnosis of heart failure typically meant making the patient comfortable while they were confined to home or, even worse, to bed. The Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program offers a new way to look at the management of heart failure. Our goal is to avoid putting you in the hospital. When you need care, we’ll try to get you home the same day. Treatment options for advanced heart failure include:

  • Myocardial Recovery Program designed — through a combination of therapies — to rebuild the heart muscle and recover to normal heart function
  • Heart failure medication management — Close monitoring paired with a combination of medication therapy to help the heart pump more blood
  • Ventricular assist device — Either as a permanent treatment or a bridge to a heart transplant
  • Heart transplant

Heart and Vascular Care for the Whole Person

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers patient resources to support you and your family, including free classes for people of all ages who are seeking to improve cardiovascular health or living with a heart condition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation providers are leaders in developing and applying innovative techniques that can help you recover and resume your life.

Connecting Hearts Support Group

The group provides education and support to individuals who have had a heart attack, are living with a heart condition or are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart Health Screenings

Prevention is the best way to manage heart disease, and screenings are available to detect early signs of cardiac and vascular disease and identify risk factors.

About Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

About 250,000 people a year in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute to treat their heart and vascular conditions. That’s more than any other provider in the area.

  • All four of Norton Healthcare’s adult acute-care hospitals are accredited by the American College of Cardiology’s Accreditation Services as Chest Pain Centers, with the highest accreditation level possible for facilities able to treat heart attacks.
  • We have more than 50 board-certified cardiovascular physicians and 35 advanced practice providers. Through training and years of experience, they specialize in areas such as cardiologyinterventional cardiologycardiothoracic surgerythoracic surgery, electrophysiologyadvanced heart failureand vascular surgery.
  • We offer same-day appointments for new patients.
  • We have 27 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 clinical sites in the region.
  • Norton Healthcare has four adult-service cardiac catheterization labs, with 14 state-of-the-art rooms. Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital have received the highest level of cardiac catheterization accreditation from the American College of Cardiology — offering lifesaving, minimally invasive procedures for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Our cardiothoracic surgeons and electrophysiologists have more experience than any provider in the area performing hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation (A-fib). This innovative treatment also can help patients who have had persistent A-fib for more than a year that hasn’t responded to other treatments.
  • Norton Healthcare is the only health care system in Kentucky to receive the prestigious Mission: Lifeline Regional Trailblazer Award from the American Heart Association for being an innovator in creating a system of care for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attacks — the most severe type of heart attack.
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