Congestive heart failure is considered “advanced” when:

  • Symptoms are no longer manageable with medication
  • A patient has been hospitalized multiple times for heart failure issues
  • The heart is able to pump only 25% or less of the blood it receives (normally it can pump 60% or greater)

For someone with advanced heart failure, even everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs can feel exhausting and leave them breathless. The three most common symptoms of the advanced stages of heart failure are:

  • General fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles or legs

Other symptoms that may also accompany heart failure include:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive, unexplained weight gain
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite or indigestion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Irregular or rapid pulse
  • Heart palpitations

Patients with advanced heart failure may benefit from an LVAD while they are waiting for a heart transplant. In the case of patients who are not candidates for a transplant, an LVAD can provide long-term support. 

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