Heart failure treatments
Whether you need medication, a heart support device, or a heart transplant, experts at UC Davis Heart and Vascular Center can help. We are among the few medical centers in Northern California offering comprehensive treatments for heart failure. Our high-performing Heart Failure Program — as rated by U.S. News & World Report — reflects the top-level care you can expect here.
Heart failure treatments at UC Davis
Our heart failure specialists use advanced imaging technology and other tests to better understand the condition of your heart. This information helps your team choose the best treatment for your specific needs.
We offer a full range of treatments for early to advanced heart failure, including:
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs)
- Heart valve repair and replacement
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
- Alcohol septal ablation
- Heart transplants
- Impella percutaneous support device
- Cardiovascular clinical trials
Certain prescription medications offer heart-protective benefits. Depending on your condition, your doctor may prescribe medicines to promote recovery of your cardiac shape and function, prevent further worsening of the condition and reduce fluid retention.
Also known as mechanical heart pumps, these implantable devices help weakened hearts pump blood when medications are not enough. Your doctor may recommend a VAD to use as a:
- Bridge-to-transplant: The VAD temporarily supports your heart while you wait for a heart transplant.
- Destination therapy: You may have a VAD for the long term instead of getting a heart transplant.
At our dedicated VAD clinic, you’re able to meet with heart failure specialists and cardiac surgeons during the same appointment. When possible, we schedule tests the same day, too. We also offer:
- The latest VADs, including those still in clinical trial stage
- Personalized care and education about living with a VAD from our expert VAD coordinators
Diseased heart valves can make the heart work harder, leading to heart failure. Our doctors are nationally known for their expertise in treating heart valve disease using transcatheter methods. With this approach, your doctor performs the procedure through an artery or vein. Because the chest is not opened for surgery, you recover quicker and have less pain. Learn more about heart valve repair and replacement.
Coronary artery disease narrows the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart. Narrowed arteries slow blood flow, leading to heart failure, heart attacks and strokes.
CABG, also known as heart bypass surgery, improves blood flow. During surgery, your doctor uses a healthy artery to reroute blood flow around a diseased artery. At UC Davis, you are in skilled hands: U.S. News ranks our CABG program as high performing.
We specialize in robotic-assisted CABG. Because we don’t open the chest, you recover faster with less pain, blood loss and scarring. During the procedure, your doctor:
- Refers to a 3D computer image to precisely visualize the procedure
- Makes a keyhole-sized incision in the chest
- Uses a computer to guide a robotic device that has tiny surgical instruments
- Performs surgery through the keyhole incision using the robotic device
A heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes heart muscle to thicken and restrict blood flow. Left untreated, heart failure occurs. Our doctors are the only ones in the Sacramento region offering alcohol septal ablation to treat this condition.
This nonsurgical procedure uses injectable, purified alcohol to shrink enlarged heart tissue. This procedure is less invasive than the standard approach, which involves surgically removing thickened heart muscle.
If heart failure is severe and life-threatening, your doctor may recommend a heart transplant. During this procedure, you receive a healthy heart from a donor.
This short-term life-support system does the work of your heart and lungs by circulating blood and oxygen. Your heart and lungs can heal until you are strong enough for a heart support device or heart transplant.
This short-term life-support device is used to support weak hearts in patients that present a critical condition or require high risk interventions.
Managing heart failure
We offer solutions to slow the progression of heart failure and help you get back to the life you love. Our programs include:
- CardioMEMS™ remote monitoring: A sensor implanted in an artery sends information to your care team. We use this data to address problems before they become serious and require hospitalization.
- Do More with Heart Failure: This one-time educational program helps newly diagnosed patients and loved ones. Our experts provide information to help you better manage heart failure. Learn how to Do More with Heart Failure.
- Prevention Forward: Experts at our heart health program help you take heart-protective steps, such as eating healthier, moving more and managing stress.
- Cardiac rehab: Our experts help you regain strength and stamina following a heart procedure or problem. Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program has been helping people for more than 20 years.
- Heart failure clinics: We offer dedicated clinics for people with heart failure, VADs and heart transplants. These clinics bring together the specialists and tests you need in one convenient appointment.
- Supportive Cardiology Clinic: This clinic provides an extra layer of care to patients and their families dealing with serious illness. Our team of physicians and social workers specialize in managing symptoms and reducing the stress of serious illness. Our goal is to prevent or ease suffering, and to offer the best possible quality of life for our patients. Our relationship with our patients and families continues throughout the course of serious illness as needed, and we will assist them with ongoing decision making, symptom management, care coordination, and emotional or spiritual support.