Many patients find they can manage their congestive heart failure and maintain their quality of life with lifestyle changes and basic medicines prescribed by MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center doctors. But if the condition worsens, we also offer powerful medications, sophisticated devices to help the heart and even transplants. The cardiologists and surgeons in our Advanced Heart Failure Program have the expertise and experience needed to successfully offer these complex treatments.
Our team works closely with MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute and will help you decide on the treatment plan that makes the most sense for you. We also work closely with family members and other caregivers. Learn more about the renowned team at MedStar's Advanced Heart Failure Program.
Advanced Heart Failure Symptoms
Advanced heart failure symptoms are similar to those experienced by patients with less serious disease. The difference is that symptoms can be felt with minimal exertion or even at rest. The severity of symptoms can still vary from day-to-day, or even within the same day.
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the legs and feet
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia)
- Weight loss
- Chest pain
Advanced Heart Failure Treatment
Our doctors usually treat less-severe heart failure with lifestyle changes and more common medications. But more advanced heart failure often requires a deeper approach. Possible options include:
- Inotropes: Medications that increase your heart’s squeezing capacity (only select centers like ours can send patients home on these powerful medications)
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device: Ensures the right and left side of your heart contract at the same time (learn more about pacemakers)
- Percutaneous valves: Repair or replacement of heart valves with a minimally invasive approach that avoids open-heart surgery
- Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD): Devices that help the heart, either as permanent treatment or as a temporary measure before transplant
- Heart transplant: Replacement of the heart with a donor organ
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
Transitional Care Clinic (TCC)
The TCC serves congestive heart failure patients, and those suffering from COPD or pneumonia, who are over the age of 55, and have visited the hospital more than twice in six months, as well as patients who do not have support at home or an existing relationship with a primary care physician. At the TCC, staff can review patient history, help answer questions, steer patients to a primary care physician, order lab work and create future care plans such as a schedule for cardiac rehab visits.