Advanced Heart Failure Program
At Baptist Heart Institute, we provide comprehensive services and lead the way with next-level care for all aspects of advanced heart failure for patients across the Mid-South.
As a leading research facility, we are at the forefront of the latest advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. Drawing upon the resources and expertise of the Baptist Heart Institute, the most comprehensive and well-respected heart care program in the Mid-South, we offer innovative, patient-centered treatments and therapies. We are dedicated to being a leader in clinical outcomes and patient experience.
Advanced heart failure is a treatable condition, and our services are particularly beneficial for patients diagnosed with Stage C or D (NYHA stages III & IV) heart failure who no longer respond to medicines and require frequent hospitalization. Our cardiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating complications resulting from all forms of heart failure.
Heart disease kills more than 2,300 Americans every day.1 Our team of trained cardiologists and surgeons deliver advanced diagnostics and treatment to help Mid-South patients achieve and maintain good heart health. We treat all aspects of heart disease and their associated conditions, including:
- Aneurysm: a bulging or a weakness in the wall of a blood vessel
- Angina: chest pain that can extend to the left arm, shoulder or jaw
- Arrhythmias: irregular heartbeat (too fast or too slow, or skipping beats), including atrial fibrillation
- Cardiomyopathy: diseases in coronary muscle tissue, including an enlarged heart
- Coronary heart disease: coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease and carotid artery disease
- Heart attack: or myocardial infarction, an interruption of the blood supply to the heart’s muscle tissue
- Peripheral artery and peripheral vascular disease: narrowing of arteries that reduce blood flow to your limbs
- Stroke: including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs): strokes occur when a blocked blood vessel deprives areas of the brain of oxygen. Because this problem ends up affecting the brain, neurologists may collaborate with the heart specialist on stroke cases
- Valvular heart disease: heart valve damage caused by rheumatic fever, infections, connective tissue disorders, radiation treatments or medications
Advanced heart failure
Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart doesn’t pump enough blood for the body’s needs. This can occur if the heart cannot pump (systolic) or fill (diastolic) adequately. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs, and rapid heartbeat. Most often, heart failure is caused by another medical condition that damages your heart, including coronary heart disease, heart inflammation, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, irregular heartbeat, or heart valve disease. Diagnosis is based on your medical and family history, a physical exam, and results from imaging and blood tests.
Heart failure may not cause symptoms right away. Eventually, you may feel tired and short of breath and notice fluid buildup in your lower body, around your stomach or neck. Heart failure can also lead to other complications, such as liver or kidney damage, pulmonary hypertension and other heart conditions.
Heart failure is a serious condition that can be lifelong. However, treatment including healthy lifestyle changes, medicines, surgical and non-surgical procedures, and devices – such as a defibrillator, pacemaker, and other mechanical assist devices – help many people have an improved quality of life. The experts at Baptist Heart Institute will work with you, your primary care provider, and your cardiac care team to determine the most effective, least invasive treatment for your condition.
Mechanical and circulatory support
We provide evaluations for left ventricular assistance devices (LVADs) as a destination therapy or as a short- or long-term transition therapy (also known as bridge therapy) to a future heart transplant. An LVAD is a battery-operated, mechanical pump for patients who have reached end-stage heart failure. The device is surgically implanted just below the heart to help the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart, move blood to the rest of the body. A control unit and battery pack are worn outside the body.
The LVAD doesn't replace the heart. It helps maintain the pumping ability of a heart that is too weak to work on its own. This can mean the difference between life and death for a person whose heart needs a rest after open-heart surgery or for people waiting for a heart transplant. Patients who receive an LVAD often experience less fatigue, more strength, and better breathing, as well as longer survival.
Amyloidosis (AM-uh-loy-DOH-sis) is a protein disorder. In this disease, proteins change shape (misfold), then bind together and form amyloid fibrils which deposit in organs. As amyloid fibrils build up, the tissues and organs may not work as well as they should.
Left untreated, amyloidosis can be a serious health problem that can lead to life-threatening organ failure. Because the disease is mostly hereditary, genetic testing can help detect it early.
The Advanced Heart Failure Program at Baptist is the Mid-South’s leader in diagnosing and treating amyloidosis. Our talented team of cardiac experts and researchers continue to perform innovative research and clinical trials to discover new effective treatments like Onpattro, a medication that stops the spread of amyloid by halting its production in the liver. Baptist was the first in the region to use this life-saving therapy.
Symptoms depend on which organs are affected, and may include swelling, fatigue and weakness, shortness of breath and numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands or feet. Often, the first signs of amyloidosis are orthopedic conditions such as spinal stenosis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the type of amyloidosis, medications, chemotherapy or a stem-cell transplant may be options.
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, or PAH, is a rare disease characterized by high pressures in the lung circulation. This disease carries a very high risk of morbidity and mortality if left untreated. Given the rarity of this condition and the significant overlap in symptoms and signs with other disease processes, it requires specialized care with expertise and a highly sophisticated diagnostic process. PAH is ideally managed by collaborative efforts between cardiologists and pulmonologists who specialize in managing this complex disease. The Baptist Advanced Heart Failure Program is uniquely capable of providing state of the art cardiac care for such patients, and we are extremely pleased to announce that we are partnering with the pulmonology experts at Memphis Lung Physicians group to establish a multidisciplinary PAH Center where patients will be evaluated by both specialties during the same visit.
1Source: American Heart Association, based on 2018 data
We’re Here to Help
It is possible to live a happy, productive life with a stage C or D heart failure diagnosis. The Advanced Heart Failure Clinic in Memphis, TN at Baptist Heart Institute has the expertise, resources and innovative approach to care to help you live longer and stronger.
To schedule an appointment, tell your primary care provider to contact our referral line at 901-226-2000 and speak directly to a nurse coordinator, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you have concerns about your heart health or feel you may be at risk for heart failure, we are here to listen and help you decide what your next step is. Complete and submit the brief form below to be contacted by one of our knowledgeable staff.
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