Advanced Heart Failure

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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

Every year, more than 137,000 people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists for their heart and vascular care. That’s more than any other health care provider.

  • Norton Healthcare’s adult-service hospitals in Louisville all have received Chest Pain Center accreditation from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). This is the seventh consecutive accreditation for all four hospitals, which ensures quality for the treatment of heart attack.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital all are recognized as having ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI accreditation.
  • Norton Healthcare has the most facilities across the city of Louisville with the ability treat a life-threatening heart attack.
  • You have access to more than 100 physicians and advanced practice providers with specialized training and experience in a comprehensive range of conditions and treatments.
  • Patients can make appointments at 28 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 sites in the region.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital, a key location for Norton Heart & Vascular Institute services, has been recognized with a HeartCare Center National Distinction of Excellence year after year by the American College of Cardiology. This is the only hospital in Louisville to be recognized for this distinction.
  • U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals ranked Norton Healthcare adult-service Louisville hospitals high performing in heart attack and heart failure 2022-23.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital earned ventricular assist device (VAD) accreditation from DNV – Healthcare and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Communicate with your health care provider, renew prescriptions, get lab results and more through your free Norton MyChart account.

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