Heart Failure Treatment Center
Don’t let the diagnosis fool you—heart failure patients still have a lot of living to do
A diagnosis of heart failure can be overwhelming, to say the least. But it doesn’t mean your life is over. Our team of physicians, surgeons and specialists use the latest and safest heart failure therapies to make sure our patients live the longest, healthiest lives possible. Meanwhile, our researchers constantly push for new discoveries to advance the treatment of heart failure in the future.
When you have heart failure, it means your heart can’t pump as well as it should. Blood and fluid may back up into the lungs, and some parts of the body don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood to work normally.
Treatment options may include medications or surgical techniques. Sometimes a small device, called a ventricular assist device or VAD, is placed in a person’s chest to support heart function.
Learn more about heart failure.
Everything we know. For you.
- Our Heart Failure Treatment Center is one of the largest exclusive heart failure programs in the region. Our nationally renowned physicians diagnose and treat approximately 3,000 heart failure patients every year.
- Nearly 25 years ago, we were the first hospital in the Tristate to successfully implant a ventricular assist device (VAD). Today we continue to lead the region in the research and implantation of mechanical assist devices. Our cardiac surgeons are the only group in the region providing long-term VAD support for heart failure patients.
- We were the first hospital in the region to receive Advanced Disease-Specific Care Certification for VAD by the Joint Commission. This allows us to offer the latest FDA-approved VAD—HeartMate II—to our heart failure patients who are ineligible for transplants.
- Our Heart Failure Treatment Center recently earned Advanced Certification from the Joint Commission, healthcare’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body. This means we’ve proven our commitment to the highest level of care for patients with heart failure.
Aimee’s story: “They listened to my fears and guided me the entire way.”
Aimee Brown was 19 weeks pregnant when she felt an intense burning in her throat. She was having trouble catching her breath, and even difficulty walking.
An echocardiogram revealed that her heart was functioning below half capacity, and that she and her baby were in danger. “It scared me because we tried for so many years to have children, and my first thought was that I was going to die,” Aimee remembers. Her doctors discovered that she had a rare disorder that was causing her heart to fail.
“To be told that your heart isn’t working well is extremely scary,” says Stephanie Dunlap, DO, Aimee’s cardiologist and director of the Institute’s Heart Failure Program. “But to be told that you have the disorder during pregnancy, which is supposed to be a happy time in your life, is even worse.”
Doctors quickly got Aimee on the proper medications, but her pregnancy was still at risk. After a thorough evaluation by a team of UC Health doctors, they decided the best option was to deliver her baby prematurely. At 31 weeks, with two cardiac catheters monitoring Aimee’s heart, her family happily welcomed baby Bayleigh Marie Brown. A short time later, Aimee had an implantable biventricular defibrillator installed to protect her from possible dangerous heart rhythms.
“I was amazed at the excellent care I received,” Aimee Says. “The staff recognized my concerns throughout the entire pregnancy. They listened to my fears, and guided me the entire way.”
Learn more about conditions and treatments.
- Medical management: There are a variety of medications used to treat heart failure patients. Some of the most common are diuretics, beta blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
- Surgery: Our surgery department partners with Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgeons, Inc., a leading regional cardiac surgery practice, to help advance the level of care for cardiac surgery patients in the greater Cincinnati area.
Stephanie Dunlap, DO, Medical Director, Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant, Associate Professor of Cardiology
Lynn Weishaupt, RN, MSN, NE-BC, Director, Cardiovascular Services
Lindsey Neese, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, Heart Failure Coordinator
Ginny Beckenhaupt, RN, BSN, VAD Coordinator
For more information, call our Heart Failure Coordinator at 513-584-8318.