Congestive heart failure is an illness that affects the heart.  It is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to fuel the body's needs.  The heart continues to work but gets progressively weaker.  Because the heart is not doing its job, people with congestive heart failure often feel weak, tired or have trouble catching their breath.

Congestive heart failure worsens over time.  In the early stages, medications and lifestyle changes can help control symptoms. As the heart continues to fail, symptoms worsen beyond what medication can control.  At advanced stages, a heart transplant or a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) may be needed to take over the work of the heart.  The most common type of VAD is a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD).

Facts about Congestive Heart Failure
How common is advanced congestive heart failure?
Question Mark Icon Blue.png About 5 million people are living with advanced congestive heart failure in the United States, and approximately 10 million in Europe.


Who is a candidate for an LVAD?
Question Mark Icon Blue.png Patients who are candidates for LVAD therapy have congestive heart failure symptoms with very little activity.  Symptoms occur despite taking the maximum tolerable amount of heart failure medications by mouth.


When is an LVAD used for Congestive Heart Failure treatment?
Question Mark Icon Blue.png Patients with advanced heart failure may benefit from an LVAD while they are waiting for a heart transplant (sometimes called Bridge to Transplant or BTT).  For patients who are not heart transplant candidates, an LVAD can be used for long-term support (sometimes called Destination Therapy or DT).