Congestive heart failure (CHF) is when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body. It doesn’t mean the heart has stopped beating. There are many diseases that contribute to the development of CHF.
The most common symptoms of heart failure are:
Our cardiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating all stages of congestive heart failure. They may refer to your degree of CHF by classes I-IV. In collaboration with your family physician and cardiologist, we will be evaluating all aspects of structural heart disease and potential potential damage to your other organs and body systems.
Our CHF specialists understand your urgency. We offer expedited appointments to see a cardiologist who specializes in heart failure. Prior to this appointment our staff will communicate how to bring previous test results and imaging reports. If you have experienced a heart attack or stroke, our physician will need information about the care and treatment received during that time.
A comprehensive medical history, review of all risk factors (diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease) and physical evaluation.
Medication therapy with lifestyle modification is typically the first line of treatment.
St.Vincent Advanced Heart Failure specialists can help you explore all approved and investigational treatment options including applicable open heart failure clinical trials.
Our Advanced Heart Failure Team stresses Heart Care education for the patient and loved ones. We will help you create a well-rounded support system. Our office works closely with a statewide network of St. Vincent Home Care. Overall, our office and our established Heart Care monitoring system is personalized for your needs. We are available around-the-clock (24/7) to respond to your health concerns.
If you have advanced heart failure and are considering a ventricular assist device (VAD) or are on the heart transplant waiting list, the VAD and transplant cardiothoracic surgeon pre-cardiac coordinators in the Cardiac Transplant & VAD Program will coordinate appointments and follow-up tests. They are available to get answers to all of your questions.
An onsite cardiac rehabilitation center is conveniently located at the St. Vincent Heart Center, 8333 Naab Road, Suite 340, Indianapolis, IN 46260. For patients who have a VAD or heart transplant surgery, rehab may be started while you are at the hospital. If your physician prescribes ongoing cardiac rehabilitation, these services may be available through a cardiac rehab site closer to home.
For advanced heart failure patients (and families) including those with a ventricular assist device and/or heart transplant.
Through the sharing of patient experiences, our care coordinators provide tips to help reduce stress and anxiety about doing certain activities or returning to work, and offer suggestions to fuel a healthier quality of life. Our meetings also include special speakers and demonstrations.
When heart failure progresses to an advanced stage, many treatment options still exist. The decisions, including a do-everything approach or a comfort strategy and everything in between aren’t easy. That’s why the American Heart Association released recommendations that serve as a roadmap to decision making in advanced heart failure. The goal: A partnership between patient and doctor, where the medical options are honestly discussed and decisions are made based on what the patient needs and wants. Shared decision making means you don’t have to make decisions on your own.
For more information about these recommendation, read this.
With shared decision making, you can avoid heat-of-the-moment decisions and instead take time to figure out what’s best for you.