Advanced Heart Failure

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MUSC Health Advanced Heart Failure: Bringing hope when hearts fail.
For an accessible version of this publication please contact Sara Stello.

MUSC Health’s Heart & Vascular Center offers more treatment options for congestive heart failure than any other program in South Carolina. From monitoring and medication management to more advanced options, including surgery, our specialists evaluate your condition and recommend the right care.

We have locations across the state to treat CHF. If you are having heart failure symptoms, make an appointment today to see an MUSC heart specialist.

Heart Failure Symptoms

Congestive heart failure means your heart cannot fill or pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. This can result in fluid accumulation in the lungs, which causes symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue. As fluid builds up in the body, patients may develop additional symptoms such as swelling (edema) in the ankles, legs, feet, and belly, along with persistent cough, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, and rapid or irregular heartbeat.

What is the main cause of heart failure?

Many conditions can contribute to heart failure, including coronary artery disease, diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Heart failure may also be caused by diseases of the heart muscle such as cardiomyopathy.

What are the four types of heart failure?

  • Left-sided heart failure
  • Right-sided heart failure
  • Diastolic heart failure
  • Systolic heart failure

Can you recover from heart failure?

If congestive heart failure becomes advanced or is left untreated, the heart muscle becomes weaker over time. While medication and other conservative treatment are often effective in treating heart failure, patients with advanced disease may require a heart transplant or mechanical heart support, such as a ventricular assist device (VAD). MUSC Health is the only hospital in South Carolina equipped to provide the full spectrum of heart disease treatment, including transplant and VAD implantation.

Heart Failure Treatments

MUSC Health’s Heart & Vascular Center is the only South Carolina center that provides a complete range of heart failure treatments, including transplant. Our team cares for some patients throughout their lifetime. For others, we might treat them once and then help them transition back to their home cardiologist’s care.

In addition to standard options such as medication management, we also offer these specialized programs:

Shock and Cardiac Emergency Care

When people come to MUSC Health in shock or sudden cardiac arrest, we activate a special team to care for them. Our cardiac shock team includes heart failure and interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists and other specialists. When people in cardiac shock need extra support to help their heart circulate their blood, we can offer extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). ECMO treatment helps oxygenate the blood to give the body a chance to recover from serious illness. MUSC Health is the only hospital in South Carolina that offers ECMO machine technology.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an inherited condition causes the heart muscle to thicken. The thickened muscle obstructs the flow of blood out of the heart during each heartbeat.

Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy


Newly Diagnosed HCM Patients Treated Annually

~ 30

Septal Reduction Procedures Performed Annually

CardioMEMS™ for Heart Failure Surveillance

CardioMEMS HF System for home monitoring of patients with heart failure. Our heart failure team uses information transmitted from this implanted device to monitor your heart health from the convenience of your home. Daily readings enable your doctor to detect warning signs of heart failure before symptoms appear. Your doctor can adjust treatment as needed to help you avoid hospitalization and enhance your quality of life.

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U.S. News & World Report ranks MUSC Health as high-performing in heart failure care. Our team of board-certified advanced heart failure cardiologists is the state’s largest and includes some of the world’s experts in certain conditions including specialists in cardiovascular genetics, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac amyloidosis.


Your Heart Failure Team at MUSC Health

Our team of board-certified advanced heart failure cardiologists is the state’s largest and includes some of the world’s experts in certain conditions including specialists in cardiovascular genetics, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac amyloidosis

Our clinical trials offer access to leading-edge drugs, devices and treatments that aren’t available elsewhere in the state. When some treatments are approved for widespread use, MUSC Health doctors have already been using and evaluating them for many years. Learn more about clinical trials.   

Heart failure requires ongoing monitoring. We work with your referring doctor to ensure you receive the care you need closer to home. Our Heart Failure Telemedicine initiative enables patients to see their doctor online. These virtual visits mean patients often do not have to travel to Charleston for ongoing care. We also partner with cardiologists across the state and have regional clinic locations