Heart failure occurs when the heart is not strong enough to effectively pump blood to the rest of the body. As the heart struggles to work harder, it may become enlarged. Fluid may build up in other parts of the body, resulting in swelling of the feet and ankles and causing fluid to collect in the lungs. Patients with advanced heart failure report shortness of breath and feel tired when they exert themselves.
The team at NewYork-Presbyterian features specialists with exceptional experience in treating patients with all stages of heart failure.
Heart failure may be treated with drugs such as:
When heart failure continues to progress despite these treatments, tissues throughout the body fail to receive the nutrients and oxygen that they require. Over time, this can cause organ failure.
Patients with end-stage heart failure may benefit from mechanical cardiac assist devices, the most common of which are ventricular assist devices (VADs).
The left ventricle is the chamber responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the aorta for transport to the rest of the body. Ventricular assist devices (VADs) help heart failure patients by taking on the workload of the left ventricle, helping the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. As a result, all tissues and organs receive the blood supply they need to do their jobs, and the patient feels better.
These surgically implanted mechanical pumps can help:
NewYork-Presbyterian is a leader in the development and implantation of VADs for patients with heart failure. The Hospital's Mechanical Circulatory Support Program has been helping patients benefit from VADs since 1990 and performs one to two VAD implantations each week.