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Heart & Vascular Institute

Heart Failure

We're helping heart failure patients have a better quality of life.

Heart failure is a complex syndrome which in many cases is challenging to optimize therapy. Patients whose hearts can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body experience many life-altering symptoms including shortness of breath and fatigue.

The syndrome also causes other changes - such as an enlarged heart and an irregular heartbeat. In addition, heart failure is known to compound other health risks. At Geisinger, we do more than ever to help people with heart failure stay out of the hospital and manage their syndrome effectively. We offer many advancements that improve not only the function of the heart, life expectancy but quality of life as well.

Medical and surgical options improve the heart's function.

  • Ultrafiltration - This filtering process removes fluid and chemicals from the blood that interfere with heart function.
  • Monitoring blood flow using impedance cardiography - Sensors detect the force of the blood flow throughout the body to guide therapy.
  • Implantable defibrillators - These permanently placed devices monitor and correct the speed and pattern of the heartbeat by sending out electrical impulses.
  • Ventricular assist devices, such as Impella, Tandem Heart, HeartMate II and Centrimag as well as other surgical therapies - All of these self-contained heart pumps are placed in the body to pump blood from the left ventricle into the aorta (LVAD).
  • Impella and Tandem Heart - A device that is inserted using a standard catheterization procedure through an artery in the leg, into the ascending aorta.
  • Centrimag - A heart pump that can be applied rapidly in the operating room to safely support a patient's circulation for two weeks or longer.
  • HeartMateII - Smaller and lighter than comparable devices, this pump can be used for long term circulatory support while patients are awaiting a heart transplant and for those not eligible for heart transplant it can provide lifelong support often called destination therapy.

A team that understands patients and their needs.

Our dedicated, multidisciplinary team provides a depth of experience that surpasses any available in the region in treating new and advanced heart failure patients and those who are in the last stages of the disease. Our strengths are in evaluation, developing a plan of treatment optimized for each patient and providing a comprehensive coordinated follow-up care including nutrition and psychological counseling aimed at improving quality of life. The same team of physicians and nurses follows each patient through treatment, so there is a coordination of care and a personal connection that can make a significant difference in both the physical and emotional condition of the patient.

The first step: Find a Geisinger cardiologist

Learn more about heart failure

dr. fesniak, nurse and patient