Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic
What is congestive heart failure?
Congestive heart failure is a condition resulting in fluid buildup in the lungs and body. Coronary artery blockages, high blood pressure, a weak heart muscle and other heart conditions can lead to congestive heart failure.
Symptoms of congestive heart failure include swelling in the legs; progressive shortness of breath including when at rest or while lying down; fluid buildup, resulting in rapid weight gain; and a dry, nonproductive cough often mistaken for bronchitis or pneumonia.
How we help
Our Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic provides a continuing support system for those diagnosed with heart failure. With proper care, you can live more comfortably and reduce the chance you’ll need to be readmitted to the hospital.
When you are discharged from the hospital with a heart failure diagnosis, you will receive follow-up care from the Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic. Our team will contact you shortly after discharge to ensure you’re feeling better and have the information and care you need to manage your condition.
The heart failure team will help you:
- Arrange home care and monitoring, as appropriate
- Understand medications, their indications and how they are adjusted
- Learn tools for self-care
- Identify signs and symptoms of heart failure complications
- Review weight, blood pressure and other monitoring device data
- Learn when to come to the clinic for care and when to visit the emergency department
Our specialists can adjust medications, review your diet and care plan and help streamline future medical care. When required, we also can provide outpatient intravenous medication to reduce any fluids accumulating in your body.
The Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic team will follow your care to help ensure you receive consistent and high-quality health management. Regular clinic visits, prompt diagnosis and close follow-up care provide the best outcomes for our heart failure patients.
The Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic team includes an integrated group of experienced:
- Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons – Responsible for your overall medical management and treatment plan
- Cardiac rehab specialists – Help you recover from a hospitalization and provide practical advice for improving any physical limitations
- Nurse practitioners – Provide care; perform tests; adjust medication plans; and provide information, education and counseling
- Nurse coordinators – Serve as care coordinators linking you to your care team by providing care, performing tests, and serving as a patient resource
- Pharmacists – Partner with your care team to review and update your medication plan
- Palliative care specialists – Help identify interventions to relieve your symptoms, increase comfort, and improve quality of life. Focus on finding ways to help you reach your goals
- Social workers – Support the patient and family in planning and resource management, such as financial and community resources
- Pastoral caregivers – Available to the patient and family to support spiritual and emotional well-being
The Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic is a cooperative, multidisciplinary team of in-patient care providers and out-patient specialists. We’re here to help ensure you have a safe and smooth transition home from the hospital and to provide the support you need to manage your condition.
For those in need of a heart transplant, we also can help you manage referrals and evaluations, the pre-transplant waiting period, post-transplant care, destination therapy evaluation and surgical treatment.
Heart failure therapies
The following services are available at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay:
- CardioMEMS™ HF System (heart failure monitoring system)
- Implantable rhythm control devices
- The latest approved medication for managing heart failure
- Percutaneous (cath lab) interventions
Additionally, we work with each patient to help ensure they have access to the heart failure treatments they need including heart transplants and heart pump surgery (VAD surgery, LVADs, EVADS).
CardioMEMS™ HF System is an implantable heart failure monitor. Inserted into your pulmonary artery, it monitors your blood pressure around the clock, sending wireless readings to a secure website. This allows your doctor to keep watch and take action, even before symptoms begin.
The CardioMEMS™ HF System has been shown to significantly reduce hospital readmissions and improve patient quality of life, according to the CHAMPION study. Your heart failure team will determine whether you are eligible for a CardioMEMS™ device and will speak with you about this option. Eligibility is affected by your health history, BMI, chest circumference and other factors.