The only multidisciplinary heart failure team in the state.
Advanced Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support (LVAD), Pulmonary Hypertension, and Transplant Team
At the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, our board-certified, and fellowship-trained advanced heart failure specialists treat patients with state-of-the-art technologies and techniques to properly diagnose and treat all severities of heart failure.
As the only multidisciplinary heart failure team in the state, our team includes pharmacists, specialty-trained nurses, exercise physiologists, social workers, dietitians, and expert physician team members, who go above and beyond to bring the highest quality and most comprehensive service for patients across the region. Having a multidisciplinary team means our patients have someone to assist in every aspect of their care.
Our treatment goals are to:
Relieve symptoms and improve quality of life
Slow disease progression
Reduce the need for emergency room visits and hospitalization
Help people live longer
Treatment options depends on the type, cause, symptoms and severity of the heart failure. Usually, more than one therapy is used.
Recognized as High Performing in Heart Failure by U.S. News & World Report as part of its 2019-20 Best Hospitals in the United States.
The first in West Virginia to successfully implant the life-saving heart pump known as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Now, patients in West Virginia and nearby states no longer need to leave the state to obtain this advanced heart failure therapy.
Only center in West Virginia to offer both oral and intravenous therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension.
First center in West Virginia to offer heart transplant – Patients no longer need to leave the state for this life-saving therapy.
West Virginia’s only dedicated cardio-oncology program. We provide specialized care to assist in the prevention, detection, monitoring, and treatment of cardiovascular toxicities related to cancer therapy, as well as delivering optimal care to those with cancer and established cardiovascular disease.
Recognized for Excellence in Heart Failure, receiving the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure. View Certificate
Conditions and Treatments
Heart failure is the most common heart-related reason for hospital admission and readmission in West Virginia. Although heart failure is a serious condition that progressively gets worse over time, certain cases can be reversed with treatment. Even when the heart muscle is impaired, there are a number of treatments that can relieve symptoms and stop or slow the gradual worsening of the condition.
Conditions and treatments include:
Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
Infiltrative Heart Disease
The Center for Advanced Heart Failure and Mechanical Cardiology Support
The center is an important resource for the state, reducing the number of emergency room visits and lowering health costs for heart patients. Many patients receive treatment through medication. The treatments are especially useful for patients who are at the maximum dosage of other heart drugs, people awaiting a heart transplant, or people who have a heart muscle disease. The treatment also helps patients breathe more easily.
CardioMEMS HF System
It is estimated that patients who monitor their congestive heart failure with the CardioMEMS system may reduce their risk for sudden hospital readmission by almost 37 percent. We are designated as one of 16 national sites of excellence by the device manufacturer, and we are the only site in West Virginia currently offering this procedure. WVU Heart and Vascular Institute physicians are proud to be able to offer this technology to our patients.
We serve patients across West Virginia, and surrounding regions including Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and beyond. It is also our privilege to work with community providers and help provide advanced care for their patients.
WVU Heart & Vascular Institute (Main Campus)
1 Medical Center Drive
Morgantown, WV 855-WVU-CARE
Cancer patients and survivors often face unique heart health challenges since the treatments that help you fight cancer can also damage your heart. Cardio-Oncology is a medical subspecialty focused on the management of heart diseases in patients with cancer.
At the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, our cardiologist, who are specially-trained in cardio-oncology, use the latest technology and research to prevent, detect and treat heart disease in cancer patients before, during and after treatment for cancer. Our goal is to prevent heart damage caused by cancer treatments and manage care for patients who are fighting both cancer and heart disease.
Services offered include:
Offering advice and guidance to people with a high risk of heart disease or existing heart disease before cancer therapy and evaluating how to prevent, monitor and treat heart conditions
Discussing cancer treatment options with oncologists for people at high risk of heart disease or existing heart disease
Providing treatment for heart conditions, including heart medications if needed
Monitoring people with heart disease or at risk of heart disease before and during cancer therapy with regular imaging tests and blood tests to look for signs of heart complications
Monitoring and treating heart complications that may develop during cancer therapy as a result of taking certain chemotherapy drugs or receiving radiation therapy to the chest area
Screening for heart complications after cancer therapy, especially people who have taken certain chemotherapy drugs or have had radiation therapy to the chest area
Treating heart conditions or complications that may develop after cancer therapy due to specific chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy to the chest area
Providing lifestyle coaching for people after cancer therapy, such as making lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk of heart disease and maintain health, including eating a heart-healthy diet and exercise
Treatment: Before, during, and after cancer care
Some cancer patients may have a high risk of heart disease, have existing heart disease, or develop heart disease or heart complications after cancer therapy. Our cardiologists team up with cancer doctors to care for the patient’s heart before, during and after cancer treatment. Together, we help develop treatment plans that reduce the risk for cardiovascular problems.
Treatment plans are personalized and based on the patient’s current heart health, personal medical history, and family medical history. These treatments don’t interrupt cancer care, but provide additional support that gives long-term benefits. We closely monitor the patient’s heart health throughout treatment. Good heart health helps patients respond better to therapies, making care more effective and can reduce the risk for heart disease for many years.
We use blood tests and advanced cardiac imaging services specific to cancer patients, including advanced echocardiographic strain imaging, nuclear PYP scanning, and cardiac MRI services, to detect heart problems early, helping us prevent serious complications.
After treatment, cancer survivors require specialized, long-term follow up care. When cancer treatment is completed, we continue to provide survivorship services alongside cancer doctors. We help create an individualized plan to help reduce long-term risk for heart disease, from medicines to regular screenings to lifestyle changes.
About 6.5 million American adults are living with heart failure, and that number is expected to increase 46 percent by 2030, according to the American Heart Association. In West Virginia, heart failure is the most common heart-related reason for hospital admission and readmission. Depending on its severity, most cases of heart failure can be managed with medications, pacemakers, or surgery. When those treatments are not options, heart transplantation or a heart pump, such as the LVAD, is necessary.
About the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a pump used for patients who have reached end-stage heart failure. An LVAD does not replace the heart. The device is implanted under the skin. It assists the patient’s own heart to pump blood from the left ventricle of the heart and on to the rest of the body, decreasing the work of the left ventricle.
A control unit and battery pack are worn outside the body and are connected to the LVAD through a port in the skin.
The LVAD can be used two ways:
Bridge-to-transplant, which means it can help a patient survive until a donor heart becomes available for transplant. This option may be appropriate for people whose medical therapy has failed and who are hospitalized with end-stage systolic heart failure. As a bridge-to-transplant, the LVAD allows the patient to be discharged to an outpatient setting while waiting for transplant.
Destination therapy, which is an alternative to heart transplant. Destination therapy provides long-term support in patients who are not candidates for transplant.
The LVAD may provide blood pressure support; maintain or improve other organ function by improving blood flow to the kidneys, liver, brain, and other organs; and when used as destination therapy or bridge-to-transplant, improve the patient’s strength and ability to participate in activities such as cardiac rehabilitation. This also means patients can return home with the LVAD and continue normal activities. In order to receive an LVAD, patients undergo tests to determine whether they are good candidates for the device.
What are the risks of the LVAD implantation procedure?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks to the LVAD implantation procedure. Our physicians and staff monitor patients closely to prevent and manage any complications related to the device. Our physicians will discuss the specific risks and potential benefits of this procedure.