UPMC Advanced Heart Failure Center

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.

In the News

Lori McCullough needed a heart transplant, and thanks to a donor heart, and the care of Dr. Jonathan Holtz, she received life-saving surgery.  Read their story.

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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

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