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Advanced Heart Failure Care at Drexel Cardiology

Advanced Heart Failure Care at Drexel Cardiology.

What is Heart Failure?

The heart is the engine that pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. In heart failure, the heart is not working at its best and the delivery of oxygen to your organs is reduced. Heart failure can cause shortness of breath, swelling, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, memory loss, stroke and decline in vital organ function. Another common symptom of heart failure is congestion, or the build-up of too much fluid in tissues and veins. When fluid builds up and the body becomes congested, this is known as congestive heart failure. Heart failure is most often caused by years of high blood pressure, previous heart attacks and uncontrolled arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm or pulse).

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1.855.HEART12 (1.855.432.7812)

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Advanced Heart Failure Care Center

At the Advanced Heart Failure Care Center, our heart failure team has experienced cardiologists, heart surgeons, nurses and other professionals who specialize in the care of patients with heart failure.

Our primary focus is to improve the quality of life of patients with heart failure. We offer support and treatment options including advanced cardiac devices, transplant before and aftercare, long-term mechanical support and medications. Our team understands that working together with you, your caregivers and other care providers is critical. We are available at any time to discuss concerns and provide assistance.

Our heart failure team offers comprehensive care at the conveniently located Advanced Heart Failure Care Center. For patients with less severe heart failure, we work to prevent progression of disease by close supervision and access to the latest therapies. For our end-stage heart failure patients, care is provided by board-certified physicians who are trained specifically in advanced disease management and therapies. Our doctors have over 30 years of experience in the management of heart failure and heart transplants.

The Center for Advanced Heart Failure Care is owned and operated by Hahnemann University Hospital.

Treatments for Heart Failure

There are many treatment options for patients living with heart failure, and with the correct therapies, patients can expect to enjoy a good quality of life. Our specialists are experts in the current therapies for heart failure, and we participate in clinical research trials to treat it. The Advanced Heart Failure Care Center provides access to new therapies that are not offered elsewhere, which can improve patient outcomes. Close medical supervision by our team can help you to manage your condition at home instead of in the hospital.

For those with end-stage heart failure, which is when medications for heart failure no longer help and other surgical options have been exhausted, the risk of death is high. Treatment options for this stage are more limited and require appropriate expertise to manage. Treatment options for end-stage heart failure may include a ventricular-assist device (VAD) or heart transplantation.

Ventricular-Assist Devices (VADs)

A VAD is a pump that assists a weakened heart by propelling blood from the heart to the rest of the body. VADs do not replace the heart, but instead assist the heart in delivering blood to the body after being permanently attached to the heart during a surgical procedure.

Heart Transplantation

Heart transplantation is a surgical procedure where your heart is removed and replaced by a donor heart. Heart transplantation is only appropriate in a highly select group of patients because of the risk and side effects of the procedure and the aftercare.

If heart transplantation is the appropriate treatment, our specialists will help manage your health before and after the procedure. For the best heart surgery results, patients with heart failure must follow a strict medication treatment plan, keep careful track of their body weight and fluid intake, and make important dietary and lifestyle changes. Our staff helps patients monitor their status, manage their symptoms, and teach self-care skills which are critical to maintaining health. After the procedure, our support network of nurses, nutritionists and psychologists help patients make permanent life changes that ensure good health and the best possible outcomes.

Blood Test for Transplant Rejection

After heart transplantation, patients face a slight risk that their body will reject the donor organ. As a result, they must be monitored carefully for signs of rejection so that their immunosuppressant drug therapy can be adjusted. Until recently, heart muscle biopsy, a time-consuming and uncomfortable invasive procedure, has been the best way to detect rejection.

Now, a safe, convenient, and reliable blood test to detect rejection has become available. Drexel Cardiology is proud to have pioneered this study, which spares patients from having multiple invasive biopsies. The test measures molecular signals in the blood that indicate rejection and can alert physicians to the process before cardiac damage occurs. The blood test may be used in patients who are 15 years of age or older and who are at least two months past their transplant surgery.

Location

The Center for Advanced Heart Failure Care is located at 230 N. Broad Street, 7th Floor, North Tower in Center City Philadelphia. View map and get directions.

Meet the Doctors

Howard Eisen MD, FACP, FACC

Howard Eisen, MD, FACP, FACC

Cardiology Division Chief

Dr. Howard J. Eisen is chief of the Division of Cardiology at Drexel University College of Medicine. His areas of expertise include heart failure and heart transplant care. He has cared for heart transplant patients since 1995, making him one of the most experienced transplant cardiologists in the world. In 2005, he helped establish the Center for Advanced Heart Failure Care at Hahnemann University Hospital. Dr. Eisen is working to improve care of heart failure and heart transplant patients by using noninvasive procedures to diagnose transplant rejection and by participating in research studies for heart failure patients.

Learn more about Dr. Eisen.

Shelley Hankins, MD

Shelley Hankins, MD

Medical Director, Mechanical Circulatory Support and Cardiac Transplantation

Dr. Shelley Hankins, medical director of the Transplant and VAD program, specializes in heart failure and heart transplant care. She helped to establish the Center for Advanced Heart Failure Care at Hahnemann University Hospital in 2005. Dr. Hankins is the director of the Mechanical Assistance Destination and Heart Transplant programs. She has developed a care plan using ventricular assist devices in those patients who are not candidates for transplant surgery.

Learn more about Dr. Hankins.

S. Farhan Hasni, MD

S. Farhan Hasni, MD

Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiologist

Dr. Farhan Hasni practices cardiology in Center City Philadelphia. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology.

Learn more about Dr. Hasni.

Wade L. Fischer, MD, FACS

Wade L. Fischer, MD, FACS

Surgical Director, Heart Transplant & Mechanical Circulatory Support

Dr. Wade L. Fischer* is the surgical director of Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Hahnemann University Hospital. He also serves on the faculty of Drexel University College of Medicine.

Dr. Fischer has been performing heart transplants for more than 15 years and has extensive experience in mechanical surgical support and ventricular assist devices. In addition to conventional cardiac surgery and heart transplantation, Dr. Fischer had experience with the management of ECMO for both respiratory failure and cardiogenic shock.

* This physician's practice is independent of Drexel University.

Joseph T. Costic, DO

Joseph T. Costic, DO

Medical Director, Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit

Joseph T. Costic, DO* is clinical associate professor, cardiothoracic surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine and medical director, cardiothoracic intensive care unit at Hahnemann University Hospital. His specialties include minimally invasive thorascopic procedures, cardiac surgery & post-operative care.

Board certified in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dr. Costic has been an American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (FACOS) fellow since 2000. Dr. Costic is a member of several professional groups including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and the American Osteopathic Association.

* This physician's practice is independent of Drexel University.

The Center for Advanced Heart Failure Care is owned and operated by Hahnemann University Hospital.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

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