​Overview of Program

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is notable for its patient-centered, integrated team approach to treating heart failure.

The Heart & Vascular Institute’s physicians are highly experienced in advanced medical care for heart failure, including surgeons trained in implantation and management of artificial pumps, as well as heart transplantation. In the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a multidisciplinary team addresses prevention, diagnosis, and management of all stages of heart failure. 

An individualized approach to care ranges from prescribing treatments such as lifestyle changes, medication, or caring for patients who have undergone advanced surgical procedures.

​What We Treat​

Heart failure, also known as cardiomyopathy, is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for oxygen. It is a long-term condition that usually gets worse over time. It can have many underlying causes, such as viral infections or coronary artery disease, and can be affected by both genetic and lifestyle factors.

Correct management can improve both quality and length of life.

​A full range of treatment options​

The Heart and Vascular Institute’s multidisciplinary heart failure team provides a full range of treatment options that can be tailored to each patient’s needs. These range from improvements in diet and exercise to reduce the heart’s workload, to medication, and a range of surgical procedures.

As much as possible, the program aims to keep patients out of the hospital and maintain their lifestyle and independence. Some patients will be admitted to the hospital for initial diagnosis and treatment , with regular follow-up appointments required in the outpatient Heart Failure (HF) Clinic after discharge. For less severe cases, outpatient-only treatment is an option.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Patients with heart failure typically suffer from decreasing levels of activity, decreased exercise tolerance, and shortness of breath. They do not necessarily experience chest pain.

Diagnosis starts with questions about the patient’s medical history, and a physical examination. Special tests are run to identify possible causes, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco use
  • Sleep apnea
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Viral infections
  • Alcohol use
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Obesity
  • Heart valve disease
  • Family history and genetics

Physicians use several tests during the diagnosis and management of heart failure. Most are noninvasive, such as ECG, chest x-ray and echocardiography, but occasionally invasive tests such as cardiac catheterization are needed.​

Individualized treatment

Treatment is tailored to each individual patient. In general, it includes lifestyle modifications and self-care behaviors, as well as medications that are known to prolong the patient’s life and improve its quality. These medications reduce the workload of the heart, and help reduce fluid overload.

In certain cases, devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators may be needed if symptoms persist. Advanced cases are evaluated to determine suitability for artificial heart pumps or heart transplantation.

In all stages of the disease, patients and their families receive extensive information and education.​

Program Caregivers

The Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant program is a multidisciplinary effort that involves a diverse range of healthcare professionals.

These include highly skilled physicians, including cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and intensive care physicians; as well other caregivers such as nurse coordinators, nurse educators, pharmacotherapy specialists, case managers, dieticians, and physical therapists.​

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