failure, or “congestive” heart failure (CHF), is a condition in which the heart can
no longer pump the necessary volume of oxygenated blood to the body. This can result from diseases that weaken the
heart muscles, diseases that cause stiffening of the heart muscle, or diseases
that put increased demands on the circulatory system, such as hyperthyroidism
You can't reverse many conditions that lead to heart failure, but heart failure can often be treated with good results. Medications can improve the symptoms and lifestyle changes can improve your quality of life. Additionally, there are surgical options for the treatment of heart failure and its symptoms.
who have advanced heart failure but are otherwise relatively healthy may be
considered for a heart transplant. A
heart transplant is the replacement of patient’s diseased heart with a more
healthy donor heart. The University of
Colorado’s Heart Transplant Program has been in existence since 1986 and is the
only Medicare-certified heart transplant program in Colorado.
Mechanical Circulatory Support
A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a type of mechanical pump that is used to
augment the flow of oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. A ventricular assist device can be surgically
implanted in the chest cavity or worn outside of the body. A VAD can be used as a short- or long-term
treatment for advanced heart failure. For more information about Mechanical Circulatory Support, also visit the University of Colorado Hospital website.
Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
membrane oxygenation is a technique in which a patient’s blood is withdrawn
from a large vein in the body, passed through a pumping mechanism and a device
that both adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. The blood is then returned to the patient’s
circulatory system where it is circulated throughout the body. This system functions as both heart (for
pumping) and lungs (adding oxygen to and removing carbon dioxide from) the
lungs. ECMO is typically a short-term
treatment protocol for patients in respiratory failure resulting from such
things as infection, pneumonia, trauma, or smoke inhalation.
Our surgeons who perform this procedure