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Heart Failure

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Call 888-402-LVHN (5846) Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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If you have a minor illness, you can walk into an ExpressCare or schedule a video visit. For allergies, ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, rash and sprains.

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Treatment

Heart failure is most often treated with medication, a healthy diet and exercise. However, if you need hospital care for your heart failure treatment, you’ll get the care you need at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Center for Advanced Heart Failure. These procedures may be used to correct the cause of your heart failure:

Angioplasty

Raymond Singer, MD
Raymond Singer, MD, is the only cardiothoracic surgeon in Pennsylvania to achieve better than expected outcomes in heart valve surgery. He describes why the best outcomes are achieved by access to a heart surgeon and team with years of experience and high volume.

During angioplasty, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a tiny balloon at the end is inserted through an artery in the groin and guided into the artery that is blocked. Once at the location of the blockage, the tiny balloon is inflated. This flattens the fatty deposit and opens the artery. To keep debris out of the bloodstream, we use a special safety device during angioplasty that catches particles that sometimes dislodge from the side of the artery.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy

Cardiac resynchronization therapy involves a minor surgical procedure during which a biventricular pacemaker is implanted under the skin, usually in the shoulder area. It synchronizes your heart’s two lower chambers so they contract at the same time. In clinical trials, patients with this implant had dramatically improved heart function, and quality of life.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) helps patients who have a serious condition that affects their heart and/or lungs. With ECMO, blood is drawn from the body through a plastic tube, run through a machine that removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen, and returned to the body. The patient remains on a low-level ventilator to keep the lungs moving, but because the heart and lungs are not working as hard, ECMO gives them a chance to heal.

Heart bypass surgery

During heart bypass surgery, a bypass is created by attaching a piece of a vein above and below the blocked area of a coronary artery, enabling blood to flow around the blockage. Veins are usually taken from the leg, but arteries from the chest or arm also may be used to create the bypass. Depending on the number of blocked arteries, the surgery may involve one, two, three or more bypasses.

Next Step

To learn more about LVAD or to find out if you or your patient is a candidate for the procedure, please call 610-402-CARE.

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If you need heart bypass surgery, you’re in skilled, experienced hands at Lehigh Valley Health Network. Our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons perform more than 1,750 surgeries each year, among the most in Pennsylvania. Because we care for such a large number of people, our doctors have the experience needed to achieve excellent results, which are consistently among the best in Pennsylvania. They are assisted by nurses and support staff who specialize in heart care. This team of specialists uses the latest devices and techniques to help you feel better faster. 

If you have diabetes and need heart surgery, your blood glucose will be monitored and maintained at healthy levels during the surgery. This reduces the risk for infection and helps you recover more quickly.

Impella®

Impella® is the world's smallest mechanical heart pump. It is used to temporarily support a patient's weak heart following a severe myocardial infarction (heart attack) or while waiting for high-risk angioplasty or heart surgery. 

Impella is so tiny, it can be implanted quickly with a catheter through an artery in the leg. It is placed in the bottom left chamber of the heart. Impella's electric motor pumps about 2.5 liters of blood per minute, ensuring the body's organs and limbs receive adequate blood supply.

An external wire connects the device to a battery and control pack at the bedside. Impella can sustain the heart for up to seven days. After that, more definitive treatment may be necessary, or the device is removed as the heart gets stronger following an angioplasty or surgery.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small, electronic device that continuously monitors the electrical activity of the heart. It can deliver varying levels of electrical impulses based on the severity of your irregular heartbeat. It is about the size of a stopwatch and usually is inserted under the skin in the upper chest. The ICD also can function as a basic pacemaker as needed. Generally, when an irregular heart rhythm is detected, the mildest electrical impulse is delivered first. If the normal heart rhythm is not restored, additional stronger impulses will be delivered. Your doctor will program your ICD to your specific needs.

Intracoronary stent

An intracoronary stent is a small wire-mesh tube that is placed in the artery to keep it open following angioplasty. Some stents are coated with a medication to prevent blood clots from forming in the area. Others are not. Your doctor will talk to you about the kind of stent that is best for you.

Therapeutic hyopthermia videoCarolyn Ordway, CRNP, explains how therapeutic hypothermia helps patients after cardiac arrest and demonstrates how the equipment is used.

Therapeutic hypothermia

Therapeutic hypothermia is used when a serious heart attack (cardiac arrest) stops the heart from sending oxygen-rich blood to the brain. During this leading-edge treatment, cool water is driven through tubes in pads placed over the patient's chest and abdomen. This lowers the body’s core temperature to 33 degrees Celsius, slowing metabolism, preventing dangerous swelling and giving the patient a better chance to heal. We are one of six major U.S. heart centers collaborating to produce data about the use of therapeutic hypothermia.

Transradial angioplasty

During transradial angioplasty, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a tiny balloon at the end is inserted through an artery in the wrist, rather than the groin, and guided into the artery that is blocked. Once at the location of the blockage, a tiny balloon is inflated. This flattens the fatty deposit and opens the artery. This procedure is for patients who cannot undergo traditional angioplasty because they have back problems, obstructive lung conditions or groin arteries that are diseased or scarred from previous procedures.

Valve surgery

We are committed to providing the latest techniques to repair or replace:

  • Aortic valves
  • Mitral valves
  • Tricuspid valves
  • Pulmonary valves 

Depending on your health, the requirements of the procedures and the condition of the affected valve, we may replace your heart valve with:

  • Porcine (pig) valves
  • Human valves
  • Mechanical valves

We are one of the first hospitals in the region performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). During this procedure, an aortic valve is replaced using a thin, flexible tube (catheter). The procedure does not require the patient’s chest to be opened surgically. It is done for patients who have a diseased aortic valve (aortic stenosis) and can’t have traditional open-heart surgery.

If you need surgery to repair or replace a heart valve, you’re in good hands at Lehigh Valley Health Network. Our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons perform nearly 400 valve surgeries each year. Because we care for such a large number of people, our doctors have the experience to achieve the best results.

Lehigh Valley Hospital is the only hospital in Pennsylvania to receive "lower than expected" mortality ratings in five categories related to coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and valve surgery (according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council). Plus, our mortality rate for isolated valve repair is 0 percent, putting us among the nation's leading health care organizations (according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council).

If you have diabetes and need heart surgery, your blood glucose will be monitored and maintained at healthy levels during the surgery. This reduces the risk for infection and helps you recover more quickly.

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a mechanical pump that is implanted to help a failing heart effectively pump blood throughout the body. The LVAD improves and prolongs quality of life for patients in late stages of heart failure. Lehigh Valley Health Network is the first hospital in the region to provide this lifesaving technology.

Therapeutic hypothermia



Raymond Singer, MD, on cardiac surgery at LVHN

 



 

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Need Help?

Call 888-402-LVHN (5846) Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Chat Online

Walk-In Care

If you have a minor illness, you can walk into an ExpressCare or schedule a video visit. For allergies, ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, rash and sprains.

Find an ExpressCARE Schedule a video visit

Schedule Online

Book the next available "new patient" appointment with the click of a button.

Schedule Now

How You Can Help Our Mission How You Can Help Our Mission

This is a non-profit organization. Please consider donating to help heal, comfort and care.

Learn more »