UPMC Advanced Heart Failure Center

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The Advanced Heart Failure Center at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a leader in innovative approaches to cardiovascular care.

Together, we strive to provide expert care that results in improved outcomes, no matter how complex the case. We truly care about our patients and get to know each one's story.

About the Advanced Heart Failure Center

When you’re faced with congestive heart failure or another serious heart condition, you want the most specialized care and the latest treatments.

The UPMC Advanced Heart Failure Center is among the nation’s leading programs of its kind, and the only full-service heart failure center in western Pennsylvania.

At UPMC, you have access to state-of-the-art heart treatments and procedures, such as:

Tailored heart treatments

Our heart specialists:

Whether treatment involves recovery, repair, or replacement, you can be confident that you're receiving superior cardiac care from a team that's among the best in the world.

Excellence in cardiac care

Our center — one of the largest in the United States — is known for excellence in:

Our multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons
  • Physician assistants
  • Clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners
  • Bioengineers
  • Dietitians and exercise physiologists
  • Social workers
  • Doctors, nurses, and other providers from the Palliative and Supportive Institute

» To make an appointment with an expert at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, call 1-855-UPMC-HVI.

Our Experts at the UPMC Advanced Heart Failure Center

The multidisciplinary team at the Advanced Heart Failure Center strives to deliver the best in comprehensive cardiac care.

Our world-class cardiologists and cardiac surgeons apply their considerable expertise to helping people live healthier lives.

Cardiologists

Cardiac surgeons

» To make an appointment with an expert at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, call 1-855-UPMC-HVI.

Types of Ventricular Assist Devices

UPMC's heart failure experts have implanted more than 1,000 ventricular assist devices (VADs) from a variety of manufacturers.

Learn more about the VADs we use at the Advanced Heart Failure Center below.

St. Jude Medical Heartmate® II

Heartmate 2 model of ventricular assist device.
  • Continuous flow device. Implanted pump is about the size of a D-cell battery.
  • An impeller spins at high speeds to provide blood flow up to 10 liters per minute.
  • Provides support for the left side of the heart.
  • Suitable for smaller patients.
  • Highly mobile; you are typically discharged from the hospital.
  • Has been implanted in more than 2,000 patients in the United States.
  • Types of therapy: approved for bridge to transplantation; currently in clinical trials for use as destination therapy.

St. Jude Medical Heartmate® III

HeartMate 3 model of ventricular assist device.
  • Continuous flow centrifugal device.
  • Can pump up to 10 liters per minute of blood.
  • Currently in clinical trials for use as bridge to transplant and destination therapy.

HeartWare® Ventricular Assist System

HeartWare model of ventricular assist device.
  • Helps your weakened heart pump blood by removing blood from the left side of the heart and pumping it into the aorta.
  • Pump rests inside the chest with a cable exiting the skin that connects to an externally worn controller.
  • Battery-pack-powered controller operates the pump and can provide you with signals and alarms concerning the system’s operation.
  • Controller and batteries are contained in a carrying case worn around your waist or over your shoulder.
  • Types of therapy: approved for bridge to transplantation

St. Jude® PVAD™

Throratec PVAD model of ventricular assist device.
  • Can support the right or left side of the heart, or both sides simultaneously.
  • External pump located outside of the body is driven pneumatically (by air pressure) rather than electrically.
  • Primary controller, used after surgery in the hospital, is a 450-pound, air-driven console.
  • Smaller, portable 30-pound driver allows you to be discharged from the hospital and can also run on rechargeable battery power.
  • Types of therapy: approved for bridge to transplantation, and bridge to recovery after open-heart surgery.

® The above product names are registered trademarks of:

  • HeartWare International Inc.
  • St. Jude Medical

Watch Videos on Advanced Heart Failure

 Video on heart failure symptoms

Heart Failure Symptoms

Dr. Robert Kormos, cardiac surgeon at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, talks about the symptoms of heart failure.

Watch video »

 Video on heart failure

Heart Failure

Dr. Michael Mathier, cardiologist at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, talks about how heart failure affects the body.

Watch video »

 Video on solutions for heart failure

Solutions for Heart Failure

Dr. Robert Kormos, a cardiac surgeon at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, talks about how a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) can treat heart failure.

Watch video »

 Video on LVAD uses

LVAD Uses

Dr. Robert Kormos, cardiac surgeon at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, discusses the different reasons to use a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to treat heart failure.

Watch video »

 Video on VAD technology

VAD Technology

Dr. Michael Mathier, cardiologist at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, talks about ventricular assist device (VAD) technology and how they benefit patients with end-stage heart failure.

Watch video »

 Video on VADs and quality of life

VADs and Quality of Life

​Dr. Michael Mathier, cardiologist at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, talks about how ventricular assist devices (VADs) improve quality of life for people with heart failure.

Watch video »

 Heart failure video

New Technologies in Heart Failure Patient Care

Michael Mathier, MD, discusses how new technologies have helped significantly improve heart failure patient care in recent years.

Watch video »

 Heart failure video

Heart Failure Remote Monitoring Program

Ravi Ramani, MD, discusses remote monitoring services that help a physician stay in more constant contact with heart failure patients.

Watch video »

 Heart Transplant video

Heart Transplantation

Dr. Chris Sciortino discusses the heart transplant program at UPMC.

Watch video »

Contact the Advanced Heart Failure Center at UPMC

For Patients

We welcome your questions and comments and hope to help in any way that we can.

For more information on the Advanced Heart Failure Center, or to make an appointment:

For Physicians

For non-urgent referrals, call the UPMC Advanced Heart Failure Center at 1-844-UPMC-HEART (876-2432).

To refer a patient or request a consultation, call UPMC's 24-hour physician referral service at:

  • 1-866-884-8579 or
  • 412-692-2400