Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs if the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. The blood begins to back up, and as a result, the veins, tissues and lungs become congested with fluid. You feel short of breath and tire easily. If the condition gets worse, higher heart pressure causes a buildup of fluid in your veins. The most common causes of heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Treating these problems can prevent or improve heart failure. For most, treatment includes medicines and lifestyle measures.

Frankel Cardiovascular Center's Accredited Heart Failure Disease Management Program

About 5 million people in the U.S. have heart failure, resulting in about 300,000 deaths each year. However, people with heart failure can live longer and more active lives if they are diagnosed early and follow their treatment plans. The University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center offers expert medical management, access to advanced surgical care, a range of heart-assisting technology and comprehensive rehabilitation programs.

Integrated Care, Many Treatment Options for Patients with Weakened Heart Muscles

We offer multidisciplinary care for all stages of heart failure (also known as congestive heart failure). Our physicians have expertise in the evaluation and management of patients with weakened heart muscles. Our program offers a broad array of treatments including medical therapy, heart-assisting technology and heart transplantation, plus heart-failure management and education.

Treatment generally begins with medical management, such as a beta blocker, which slows the heart rate, or a blood thinner to prevent blood clot. If there is a rapid, irregular heartbeat, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which is similar to a pacemaker, may be used to correct heart rhythms that are too fast.

For patients in severe chronic or acute heart failure, heart-assisting technology, such as a mechanical heart pump, can offer a gateway to better long-term quality of life, or a bridge that can lead to a heart transplant. Our Center for Circulatory Support is one of only a few institutions worldwide with access to many investigational and FDA-approved Ventricular Assist Devices capable of pumping blood to restore circulation of vital organs. This allows for the selection of the most appropriate device based on each patient's individual needs.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center to discuss your need for treatment for heart failure or any other cardiovascular condition, contact us toll-free at 888-287-1082 or email us at CVCCallCtr@med.umich.edu. For more information about what to expect when you call us, visit our Make an Appointment page.