Heart failure can result from a variety of causes — including coronary artery disease, hypertension and heart attack — and lead to a variety of symptoms. But it always means the same thing for those who have it: that the heart can no longer pump enough blood to keep the body functioning properly. To help their hearts function better, patients with advanced heart failure need specialized, top-quality care. That's where the Advanced Heart Failure, Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Rush comes in.
At Rush, internationally renowned cardiac surgeons and cardiologists provide the gold standard in heart failure treatments, including the following:
- Device therapy. Rush offers a variety of devices, including cardiac defibrillators and biventricular pacemakers, that can be implanted in the body to correct abnormal heart rhythms and help the heart work better.
- Surgery. Cardiac surgeons at Rush perform ventricular assist device implantation; coronary artery bypass; repair and replacement of the mitral, aortic and pulmonary valves; and a range of other procedures that heart failure patients may need.
- Mechanical circulatory support as a bridge to transplant. Rush offers many devices and procedures — such as ventricular assist devices and ambulatory balloon pump implantation — that can help patients' hearts keep working while they await transplant.
- Heart transplantation. Heart transplants at Rush are performed by experienced surgeons. After transplant, cardiologists and a team of other clinicians closely monitor patients to reduce the risk of rejection and help them return to their everyday lives.
- Medical management. To help control heart failure, cardiologists may prescribe angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta blockers, diuretics or other medications alone or in combination with other treatments.
To determine which treatments are most appropriate for each patient, the clinical team at Rush will conduct a physical examination of the patient and may recommend one or more tests, including some of the following:
- Cardiac catheterization
- Cardiopulmonary exercise test
- Chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Coronary angiography
- Holter monitor
Physicians at Rush are involved in clinical trials evaluating new treatment options for patients with cardiovascular conditions, including medications, devices and stem cell and gene therapy. For more information or to enroll a patient in a trial, call (312) 942-5498.
Jai Raman, MD, PhD, cardiac surgeon (director)
José Méndez, MD, cardiologist (medical director)
Patient and family resources
Video FAQ: heart failure and transplant
Posts about heart health from the Rush InPerson blog
Quality of care
Rush University Medical Center has one primary goal: offering patients the highest possible quality of care. As part of this effort, we continually evaluate our care processes and clinical outcomes. See the resulting data and learn more about our quality measures.