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Advanced Heart Failure

Being diagnosed with advanced heart failure can be complex, as it is unique to each individual. Thanks to innovation and technological advancements, Banner Health is prepared to offer the resources, support and options you and your loved ones need at every stage of your heart treatment journey. Learn more about how Banner Health cardiac experts are here to care for you and your loved ones.

What is Advanced Heart Failure?

Advanced heart failure, such as congestive heart failure, is when the heart can no longer pump blood as well as it should.

If you were previously diagnosed with a type of heart failure, you may have been put on a specific treatment plan including a medication regimen. With advanced heart failure, those previous heart treatments may no longer be effective. The team at Banner Health is here to support you.

Causes and Risk Factors for Advanced Heart Failure

Some of the main causes and risk factors associated with advanced heart failure may include:

  • Valve Problems
  • Rhythm Disorders (Irregular Heartbeat/Arrhythmia)
  • Heart Defects/Congenital Heart Disease
  • Coronary Heart Disease (Ischemic Heart Disease)
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Cancer
  • High BMI
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Inflammation Caused by Viral Infection (Myocarditis)
  • Chronic Disease (HIV, Diabetes)
  • Abnormal Heart Valves
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Chronic Diseases (Diabetes, High blood Pressure)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Viral Infection
  • Unknown causes (Idiopathic) 

What Are the Signs of Advanced Heart Failure?

While you or a family member may already be diagnosed with congestive heart failure or another type of heart failure, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of advanced heart failure. Advanced heart failure symptoms may include:

  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Feeling out of breath when you lie down flat
  • Feeling short of breath when you exercise or exert yourself
  • Gaining weight rapidly
  • Swelling in your hands, feet or abdomen
  • Tiring easily or feeling weak after a small amount of effort
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lack of focus
  • Chest pains

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek help immediately or call 911.

Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Options

Banner Health offers inpatient and outpatient treatment options for advanced heart failure. Options may include:

Advanced Heart Failure Non-Surgical Options

Banner Health offers non-surgical treatment options for advanced heart failure, such as the Bariatric Heart Failure Program. This program provides treatment and weight loss options for heart failure patients who have a high BMI.

Additionally, there are some important lifestyle changes, aside from losing weight, that may help improve your heart’s condition:

  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Monitor blood pressure
  • Maintain regular physical activity
  • Eat a healthy diet

Banner Health is here to help support you in making these lifestyle changes. Our cardiac experts will work with you, your loved ones and other specialists, such as dieticians, bariatric surgeons or behavioral health experts, to provide a holistic approach to your heart care.

Mobile Care Units (MCU)

The Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MOBI) was established in collaboration with Banner – University Medical Center Tucson to provide a SWAT team approach to heart failure care. When critically ill patients from outside institutions cannot be transported by regular means, the highly skilled MOBI team is dispatched to help stabilize and transfer patients to Banner for treatment.

Advanced Heart Failure Surgical Options

While there is no cure for advanced heart failure, there are treatment options to increase your lifespan and improve your quality of life. Depending on your health and the current state of your heart, your doctor will discuss your treatment options and next steps with you. Treatment options may include:

Artificial Heart Transplant (Mechanical Circulatory Support)

Your treatment options may include mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices, such as left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or a total artificial heart. This treatment option can be used temporarily until you receive a donor heart or as a long-term option depending on your needs. Learn more about total artificial heart options.

Heart Transplant

Patients who are diagnosed with advanced heart failure may qualify for a heart transplant. This is dependent on the condition of the heart, overall wellness, age, patient's blood type and more. Learn more about Banner Health's heart transplant program.

The advanced heart failure program at Banner Health believes in offering every patient every option every visit. We take a collaborative approach to care to ensure you are supported throughout your entire heart treatment journey.