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Heart Failure Program

Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs. Heart failure is a chronic and progressive condition, but it does not mean that the heart has stopped beating. Around 5.8 million people in the United States have heart failure. About 670,000 people are diagnosed with it each year.

The goal of our Heart Failure Program is to improve the quality of life and life expectancy for our heart failure patients. Drawing on the combined resources of the VCU Medical Center, we follow a very individualized approach to each patient's treatment, with treatment options spanning the continuum of care.

A site for a variety of clinical drug trials, Pauley Heart Center provides physicians and their patients access to investigative drugs that may not be available at other medical centers. Our cardiologists administer innovative therapies that provide dramatic results, often enabling patients to gain full recovery of heart function.

The heart failure team at Pauley Heart Center helps many patients deemed untreatable or inoperable by other physicians. With advanced therapies and continuous monitoring, near-death patients who were initially hospitalized for a transplant procedure have improved to require outpatient treatment only. Today, the Heart Failure team follows hundreds of patients on an outpatient basis.

For CHF patients who require therapies beyond, or in addition to, medication and life-style modification, we work in close collaboration with our Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery to provide a number of surgical approaches to managing heart failure. They include reshaping of abnormal bulges in the wall of the heart, valve repair, cardiac defibrillator implant, placement of other heart assist devices such as Ventricular Assist Devices, and for end-stage heart failure patients awaiting a transplant, placement of the Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t).

For more information about the treatments we offer for advanced heart failure, please view our Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mechanical Assist Devices & Total Artificial Heart and Heart Transplantation pages.