Living with Advanced Heart Failure
Our Advanced Heart Failure Program at Nebraska Medicine is a nationally known group of dedicated heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and heart transplant experts. Our team has a vast array of expertise from fellowship trained cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and advanced practice providers. In addition, we have a specialized case management nursing team, cardiac rehabilitation specialists and more. We are dedicated to the advancement of treatment and research of heart failure with a primary goal of helping you live a full life, even with end-stage heart disease.
Leading Team of Experts in Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices
Nebraska Medicine provides a variety of options to treat your failing heart. A heart transplant is not the right option for every patient, or a patient is too ill to wait for a heart transplantation. Mechanical circulatory support devices can serve as a permanent solution, or a short-term option to support your heart while you wait for a transplant.
We provide several mechanical circulatory support options, the expertise involved in implanting these devices, and advanced care for the patient after the implantation. With a mechanical circulatory support device, patients are able to live a full life, even with end-stage heart disease.
Nebraska Medicine is one of the largest mechanical circulatory support device programs in the nation and is part of the only Joint Commission approved heart failure program of its type in the region. Our program has successfully obtained and maintained Joint Commission certification on five separate occasions ensuring that high standards of care are provided to our patients.
Devices and Therapies Offered:
Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD)
An LVAD is a small, mechanical pump implanted in the main pumping chamber of the heart to help a failing heart pump blood. The LVAD increases blood flow to vital organs and improved the patient’s ability to be active and live a normal live. Each year we implant more LVADs than almost any other hospital system in the country.
Right Ventricular Assist Devices (RVAD)
In many patients with heart failure, placing a LVAD in the main pumping chamber is not enough to provide adequate blood flow. The right side of the heart pushes blood to the lungs and then to the left side of the heart where the main pumping chamber is. Some patients may need IV medication for a short period of time to assist the right side push blood after an LVAD or other cardiac procedure. A few patients with heart failure may also need short term mechanical support for the right side of the heart. A temporary RVAD implantation may be done to support the right ventricle.
Total Artificial Heart
In certain patients, an LVAD alone will not provide the needed support to maintain adequate blood flow to the patient. A total artificial heart is the most advanced option available and it is used as a bridge to transplant.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
Patients who have severe shock from heart failure or lung failure need immediate support to save their lives. ECMO allows us to rapidly place the patient on full heart and lung support to stabilize their condition prior to undergoing other measures.
Clinical Trials and Research
Many of our specialists are very involved in research to find new treatments and cures for advanced heart disease. We currently offer medication and surgical options not available in the region for the treatment of heart failure.
Accreditations and Awards
The mechanical circulatory support program at Nebraska Medicine has received Disease Specific Certification for Ventricular Assist Devices from The Joint Commission.