Congestive Heart Failure
As the only hospital in the region to offer heart transplantation, The Nebraska Medical Center is the destination for advanced congestive heart failure (CHF) treatment options.
Patients have access to comprehensive advanced heart disease treatments including medical therapies, ventricular assist devices, artificial hearts and cardiac transplantation close to home. Receiving treatment close to home allows patients to continue to be involved in their community and draw strength from the support of their friends and family who are able to be a part of their treatment.
The program at the medical center is run as a heart failure disease management program which offers each patient thorough evaluation and professionals who are experts in treating cardiomyopathy.
- Heart failure cardiologists, certified in advanced heart failure and cardiac transplantation
- Transplant cardiac surgeons
- Advanced heart failure nurse coordinators with cardiac transplantation certification and critical care expertise provide 24/7 patient care
- A multidisciplinary team of experts who meet weekly to review each patient and determine the best advanced heart failure therapy
- social work coordinators
- financial service representatives
- pharmacists and dieticians
- cardiac rehabilitation
- cardiac imaging experts
When a patient receives medical CHF treatment, at The Nebraska Medical Center, a physician follows the patient closely. Several different types of medications and devices are used to:
- Reverse cardiac damage
- Aldosterone receptor blockers
- Improve survival
- ACEI/ARB, beta-blockers
- Aldosterone receptor blockers
- Improve symptoms
- Improve quality of life
- Heart failure education
- Healthy life style counseling
- Diet education
Dedicated heart failure educators are available both inpatient as well as outpatient to answer any questions and follow progress, assisting with self-care.
A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a battery-operated mechanical assist device that is implanted by a cardiac surgeon to help maintain the pumping ability of the heart. The Nebraska Medical Center has the only approved VAD program in the region offering both left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and right ventricular assist device (RVAD) options.
The need for a mechanical assist device has become a critical therapeutic option for advanced heart failure. Very sick patients who might not otherwise survive the wait for a donor heart benefit from the LVAD and RVAD heart disease treatment option. Patients who are too sick to survive a heart transplant may be able to utilize a ventricular assist device to build strength and become eligible for heart transplantation. This also offers young patients valuable time for their own heart to recover. If transplantation is not an option, ventricular assist devices may be used as a destination therapy to improve quality of life.
The total artificial heart option is now available at The Nebraska Medical Center. The artificial heart is not a permanent solution, but a bridge to transplant. The artificial heart takes on total cardiac functionality in the body and provides high volume blood flow through each ventricle which helps the patient's organs recover, making them a better candidate for heart transplant. It is considered to be the most advanced support available for patients with heart failure.
In cases of severe CHF, heart transplantation may be an option. After careful and thorough multidisciplinary evaluation, patients are evaluated and listed for cardiac transplantation if deemed suitable candidates after all medical and surgical options for heart failure have been exhausted.
To make an appointment with a CHF treatment specialist please call 800-922-0000 or visit the find a physician link.