Heart Failure Care

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, can occur if your damaged or weakened heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to the rest of your body, which causes other health problems. You’ll benefit from UNC Medical Center’s multidisciplinary team of specialists working together to improve your lifespan and quality of life when living with heart failure.

High-Quality Care

Be assured you’ll get the most up-to-date treatments available, in a frequently advancing medical field, for your heart failure at UNC Medical Center. U.S. News & World Report rates UNC Medical Center as “high performing” in heart failure, meaning we are among the best in the country for this specialty.

Our ventricular assist device (VAD) destination therapy program has earned Advanced Certification from The Joint Commission for its treatment of people with advanced heart failure and serves as a sign of our commitment to the highest level of patient care.

Specialized Heart Failure Care Team

Your UNC Medical Center heart failure team may include heart failure specialists, cardiothoracic surgeons, VAD specialists, transplant surgeons, and electrophysiology cardiologists, who specialize in keeping the diseased heart in normal rhythm with the use of pacemakers, defibrillators, and cardiac ablation.

Heart Failure Clinic at Eastowne

The Heart Failure Clinic at Eastowne offers UNC Medical Center expertise in a convenient outpatient service near you. You’ll have access to nutrition, lifestyle education, and diet and exercise programs, as well as cardiopulmonary evaluation with metabolic stress testing.

Shared Care

Get “shared care” that includes a one-time consultation with UNC heart failure specialists to evaluate your medical therapy, while your referring physician remains as your primary heart failure physician. Our specialists will assess your need for electrophysiology devices and surgical therapies, including cardiac transplantation and VAD.

When you choose UNC Medical Center, you will receive care from our compassionate, dedicated Heart Failure and Transplant Service team.

Heart Failure Treatments

Heart failure is a complex disease with many treatment options. UNC Medical Center offers a full range of treatments, from lifestyle changes, medication and surgery to heart transplant.

Medical Management

If you live with heart failure, you may experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, decreased tolerance for exercise, fatigue, chest pain and fluid retention in your legs and abdomen. Get help from UNC Medical Center experts who can work with you to improve your heart failure symptoms using medical therapies such as medication, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications.

Patient Resources:

Living with Heart Failure

Heart Failure Self-Management


Heart failure may involve misfiring or misdirection of electrical signals. Our heart failure cardiologists and electrophysiologists work closely together to decrease your symptoms and prevent cardiac arrest. UNC electrophysiologists can treat some of your symptoms with implantation of a bi-ventricular pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator or a cardiac ablation procedure.


You may need surgery to treat your heart failure when medical therapies don’t help or if your doctor can’t fix the causes of your heart failure. Your surgery may include one of these treatments:

Trust the experienced team of academic medical center heart and vascular specialists at UNC Medical Center to recommend the best surgical treatment options for you. Their surgical training in advanced treatments assures you can achieve the best possible outcome.

Ventricular Assist Device

You may be a candidate for a mechanical heart pump, or ventricular assist device (VAD), if your heart failure symptoms continue after medical and other surgical therapies. VADs help your heart function until a heart transplant can be performed or serve as destination (final) therapy if you aren’t medically eligible for heart transplant.

Your quality of life is the top priority for our multidisciplinary team of UNC Medical Center heart and vascular professionals. Get left ventricular support (left ventricular assist device or LVAD) or both right and left ventricle support (biventricular assist device or BiVAD) to assist your heart in delivering a better blood supply to your body.

Heart Transplant

The only cure for your advanced heart failure is to replace your diseased heart with a healthy donor heart. Learn more about heart transplant and UNC Medical Center’s top-notch heart failure specialists and heart surgeons associated with the UNC Center for Transplant Care.

Clinical Trials for Heart Failure

Learn more about participating in clinical trials that allow you access to potentially promising new therapies not available to other people.

Contact Us

Call the Heart & Vascular Center referral line at 984-974-2900 to find specialists, make an appointment or learn more about preventing heart disease.

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