Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic
Although heart failure is a serious condition, safe and effective treatments are available to help you feel better and live longer. The Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic at Aurora BayCare may help you manage your heart failure and lower the risk of further complications.
What is Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive heart failure is a condition that results in fluid buildup in the lungs and body. Factors that lead to congestive heart failure include coronary artery blockages, high blood pressure, a weak heart muscle, or other heart conditions.
Symptoms of congestive heart failure include swelling in the legs and progressive shortness of breath that eventually includes shortness of breath at rest or while lying down. Fluid buildup can result in rapid weight gain. Other symptoms include a dry, nonproductive cough that is often mistaken for bronchitis or pneumonia.
How We Help
Our Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic provides an ongoing support system for our patients. 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 your medications, their indications, and how they are adjusted
- Learn tools for self-care
- Identify the signs and symptoms of heart failure complications
- Review weight, blood pressure, and other monitoring device data
- Learn when to come for the clinic for care and when to visit the emergency department
We encourage patients to call with questions at any time and can often see you in-person for same or next-day appointments. Our specialists can adjust medications, review your diet and care plan, and help streamline future medical care. When required, we can also provide outpatient intravenous medication to reduce any fluids accumulating in your body.
Comprehensive Heart Failure Clinic Team
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 Aurora BayCare heart failure clinic includes an integrated team 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 ongoing support you need to manage your condition.
We can also help you manage referrals and evaluations, the pre-transplant waiting period, post-transplant care, destination therapy evaluation, and surgical treatment.
Integrated Heart Failure Care
Our heart failure care team offers expert heart failure care right here in Green Bay. We work with our partners to ensure patients have access to a broad spectrum of heart failure treatments including heart transplants, LVADs, or EVADS.
Our physicians represent a range of disciplines and work together to diagnose and treat all forms of cardiovascular disease and advanced heart failure. This kind of enhanced collaboration means getting care is easier and close to home.
Aurora BayCare is your home base for total heart failure treatment, ranging from state-of-the-art heart monitoring devices to care for patients who require heart transplants.
Heart Failure Therapies
The following services are available at Aurora BayCare in Green Bay:
- CardioMEMS™ HF System (heart failure monitoring system; see below)
- 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 your symptoms start.
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 if you are eligible for a CardioMEMS™ device and will speak with you about this option. Eligibility is impacted by your health history, BMI, chest circumference, and other factors.