Heart Failure Treatments and Procedures
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is often the result of severe coronary artery disease, which decreases blood flow to the heart.
Pulmonary hypertension — a buildup of pressure in the blood traveling from the heart to the lungs — can also cause CHF. The UPMC Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension program works closely with the Advanced Heart Failure Center to provide full care for people with this complex disease.
Heart Failure Treatment
The Advanced Heart Failure Center at UPMC specializes in the treatment of people with CHF.
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Depending on the severity of the disease and your general health, our group crafts a course of treatment to meet one of three goals:
- Medical management, the mainstay of heart failure treatment, provides the recovery path leading to healing of the heart.
- When medical management is not enough, our specialists may recommend a temporary or permanent device, like a defibrillator or a pacemaker, to repair a damaged heart.
- Reparative surgery — In some cases, the heart valves or vessels themselves are so weak that you may need surgery. Our surgeons are experts at repairing (and replacing) damaged valves.
- Heart transplants — As one of the first medical centers to perform heart transplants, UPMC's experience and expertise are known the world over.
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs) — In many cases, a VAD is the best treatment solution. They work mechanically to support the heart or augment the circulation of blood. They can act as a bridge to transplantation until a suitable donor organ becomes available, or until the heart muscle recovers on its own.
- Destination VAD therapy — If you're not a candidate for a heart transplant, VADs may remain in place indefinitely. This growing treatment path is known as destination VAD therapy.
Each treatment path is intended to reduce the workload on your heart while restoring as much normal functioning to your life as possible.
Sometimes, treatment paths overlap. We often recommend combining certain treatment options to achieve the best results.
And, our researchers are continually working to develop new treatments that offer hope to more patients every day.