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Advanced Heart Failure

The advanced heart failure program at University Heart provides comprehensive, compassionate care for patients with all stages of heart failure. Our team of specialists provides care from the onset of congestive heart failure symptoms through long-term management of chronic heart failure, to left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation or heart transplantation. We offer the only heart transplant program and LVAD program in the state, and our team of cardiologists are board-certified in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.


The Joint Commission has awarded UMMC Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy, allowing us to offer more advanced heart failure patients the alternative of LVAD therapy.

We are also a recipient of the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines Heart Failure Gold Plus award for the treatment of heart failure. This award measures our team's compliance in using the most up-to-date guidelines and improving patient care, outcomes, and recovery. 

What is heart failure?

Heart failure (HF) is caused by the heart muscle getting weak and not pumping enough blood and oxygen to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure has many potential causes that can lead to an enlarged and/or weakened heart.

 Symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Feeling tired or restless
  • Swelling in feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen
  • Trouble breathing especially when lying down and/or with activity
  • Coughing

Heart failure treatment

Although most heart failure is incurable, treatment options are available to help those with heart disease live a longer and more comfortable life. 

Treatment for heart failure may include:

 Our multidisciplinary care team includes:

  • Cardiologists board-certified in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
  • Cardiac surgeons
  • Heart failure nurse practitioners
  • Transplant/LVAD-certified social worker
  • Registered nurse coordinators (Heart Failure/LVAD/Transplant)
  • Dietitian
  • Pharmacist

Patient support group

A patient-led and University Heart staff-facilitated support group is available to provide support, education, and encouragement to heart failure patients and their caregivers.

When: Third Wednesday of each month, 10-11:30 a.m.

Where:  University Physicians Pavilion, Room M015