Heart failure happens when your heart does not pump as well as it should. At UnityPoint Health – Peoria, you have access to a team of experts and a range of options. You also get the close monitoring that is essential for your long-term heart health.
Why Choose UnityPoint Health – Peoria for Heart Failure?
Heart failure requires careful monitoring and ongoing management. You need a team that is with you every step of the way. We offer specialized and personalized care at all stages of treatment.
Our hospitals are recipients of the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines® – Heart Failure award. This award recognizes our commitment to quality care and proven results.
A partnership for advanced care
You get most of your care from our skilled heart failure specialists. For more complicated situations, we partner with the Heart and Vascular Center at UChicago Medicine. They are experts at implanting left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for people with heart failure.
This partnership offers you the best of both worlds — the convenience of care here in your community and highly specialized treatment from a renowned academic medical center.
What Is Heart Failure?
Heart failure is not a complete failure of your heart, but it does mean your heart cannot move enough blood and oxygen to the rest of your body. Your body needs that blood and oxygen to function. If you have heart failure, you will need treatment.
Heart Failure: How We Help
If you require hospitalization for heart failure, our heart failure navigator will meet with you and your loved ones. Your navigator will keep in touch after you leave the hospital to help you stay on track to keep your heart as healthy as possible. Our goal is to reduce the chance that you need to go to the hospital again.
We also offer educational forums for people with heart failure. These forums are on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we hope to provide them once it is safe to gather together again.
How We Treat Heart Failure
We offer several treatment options for people with heart failure:
We often recommend changes you can make at home to improve your heart health. These changes may include:
- Being physically active
- Eating heart-healthy foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing or avoiding alcohol and caffeine
Many people with heart failure take two or more medications. These drugs can improve your heart's function and prolong your life. It is important to take your medications exactly as directed. Your doctor may adjust your medications periodically to ensure the best outcome.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised program that aims to improve heart function. Our program offers support and counseling, along with supervised physical activity. Get more details about cardiac rehabilitation.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
This device, also called an ICD, is similar to a pacemaker. We implant it under the skin in your chest. We then attach wires called leads to the device. Those leads go through your veins and into your heart.
An ICD monitors the heart's rhythm. If the rhythm becomes dangerous or the heart stops beating, the ICD can deliver a shock that restores the heart's normal function.
Left ventricular assist device
Heart failure typically affects the left side of your heart first. That is why some people eventually need a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). These mechanical device implants help the heart pump blood.
Some people receive an LVAD instead of a heart transplant. Others use an LVAD while waiting for a transplant.
We partner with the LVAD experts at the Heart and Vascular Center at UChicago Medicine. You can get an LVAD implanted at UChicago Medicine. Our heart failure specialists share follow-up care with the doctors at UChicago Medicine to reduce your number of trips away from home.
Heart Failure Symptoms
Symptoms of heart failure can include:
- Shortness of breath or feeling tired
- Swollen ankles, feet, legs or stomach
- Trouble breathing when lying down
- Weight gain
Risk Factors for Heart Failure
These conditions may increase your risk for heart failure:
Find a heart specialist. Or, for more information, connect with a member of our heart team by calling us: 309-672-4670.