What is heart failure?
The term "heart failure" makes it sound like the heart is no longer working, when it really means that the heart isn't pumping as well as it should be.
What are the symptoms?
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Increased heart rate
- Lack of appetit or nausea
- Confusion or impaired thinking
What treatment options are available?
A heart transplant is an operation in which a failing, diseased heart is replaced with a healthier, donor heart. While a heart transplant is a major operation, your chance of survival is good with appropriate follow-up care.
Ventricular Assist Device (Artificial Heart)
A ventricular assist device (VAD), also known as an artificial heart, is an implantable mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the lower chambers of your heart (the ventricles) to the rest of your body. VADs are used in people who have weakened hearts or heart failure. When placed in the left ventricle they are called left ventricular assist devices (LVADs).
You may have a VAD surgically implanted for two different reasons: Bridge to Transplant (BTT) or Destination Therapy (DT). Patients who are a good heart transplant candidate but are at risk for imminent death may receive the HeartMate II as a BTT while allowing more time for your heart and other vital organs to become strong enough to receive a heart transplant. In Destination Therapy (DT), the HeartMate II can be used to provide long-term permanent cardiac support for patients who are not eligible to receive a heart transplant. At Baptist Health, we implanted our first DT HeartMate II in February 2010.
We are currently the only hospital in the state that offers the HeartMate III and are in the top four centers in the country for the numbers of HeartMate III's that have been implanted.
The Baptist Health Heart Failure and Transplant Institute offers a seamless care path for advanced heart failure patients who eventually require advanced heart failure therapies - from management to ventricular assist device to transplantation.
No other hospital in the state can offer this level of care.
What are the patient outcomes?
The best advocates for the care you can expect from Baptist Health are the patients themselves. Hear success stories from a few of our patients.
Gary Henson, HeartMate III Patient
When Paul Lipsmeyer's heart failed him, he knew he was in a fight for his life. What he didn't know is that his new heart would open up a whole new world for him.
James Edmondson couldn't climb a flight of stairs without feeling fatigued. He would need an artificial heart while waiting for a heart transplant -- two procedures in Arkansas performed only at Baptist Health Heart Institute.
Through cardiac rehab, Phoenix is learning about his artificial heart implant, improving his diet and growing stronger every day.
Frankie Walker was born amazing, but not perfect. At an early age, he and his family realized that he had inherited a serious heart condition from his father – an enlarged heart that needed immediate attention.
Baptist Health implanted a pacemaker when Frankie was only 21. However, Frankie didn’t slow down. As a musician and rapper, he continued to perform on stage. But when his heart couldn’t stay in rhythm, Dr. John Ransom determined that he needed a Heartmate LVAD to assist him until a donated heart for transplant became available.
As he waits for a heart donor, Frankie continues to write lyrics and enjoy spending time with his children. “Seeing them running, jumping, and playing – that’s what keeps me going,” says Frankie. “They’re my motivation.”
Baptist Health Ventricular Assist Device (Artificial Heart) Statistics as of March 2015
- Total implants since 2008: 250
- Total HeartMate II implants in 2014: 35
- 30-day survival for patients implanted in 2014: 100 percent
- One-year survival for patients implanted in 2013: 86.2 percent
Physician Referral Form
Medical professionals interested in referring a patient to our clinic, please complete this referral form in its entirety, to ensure efficient scheduling. Please do not hesitate to call our clinic with any questions about our program.