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