Treatment Programs

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Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program

The Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center evaluates and manages a range of heart disease conditions that result in heart failure.

Our Approach

Specialists within the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center use advanced therapies to treat patients with congestive heart failure and other conditions that might require a cardiac transplant. All of our physicians are experts in diagnosing and treating heart failure, but also are well-versed in treating the following complex conditions:

  • Cardiac amyloidosis
  • Cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle)
  • Advanced congenital heart disease (conditions originating at birth)
  • Cardiomegaly (enlarged heart)
  • End-stage heart disease

A Continuum of Care

A multidisciplinary team made up of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurse practitioners and nurses work together to determine the best line of treatment for every patient. Other health care professionals, such as nutritionists, physical therapists and pharmacists, also contribute to the heart failure patient’s care. Together this team discusses the medical approach to treating patients with severe heart failure. When needed, they also determine appropriate surgical treatment, such as heart transplantation.

If a patient is a candidate for heart transplantation, the same team of physicians are available every step of the way, both before and after transplant. The Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant team also consults with psychiatrists and social workers who have particular expertise in the treatment of advanced heart disease to ease the process and relieve stressors.

Medical Treatment

Our cardiologists work closely with patients and referring physicians to introduce preventive and early treatment measures in an attempt to delay or avoid hospitalization. These advanced medical treatments include:

  • Lifestyle and nutrition education
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Prescribing activity and exercise programs
  • Medications designed to decrease the workload on the heart and prevent the progression of the disease
  • Restricting salt and fluid intake
  • Measures to maintain a balanced diet

Surgical Treatment

Depending on the cause and severity of heart failure, surgery may be required for some patients. Our physicians are experts in treating patients using complex or combination surgical procedures. Surgical options might include:

When appropriate, innovative medical treatments, often using advanced technology such as home telemetry or continuous ambulatory hemodynamic monitoring, is recommended to help improve a patient’s well-being.

About This Program

Since the 1970s, the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center has provided patients with the most clinically advanced care by being at the forefront of new heart failure medications and devices, including the development of minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Within this program, a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurse practitioners and nurses develop the best care plan for every patient. Throughout the process, these specialists partner with patients and their referring physicians in the delivery of care.

Experience Treating Complex Conditions

Our physicians are leaders in treating complex heart conditions or any condition that requires a cardiac transplant. For example, our team is familiar with heart transplantation for patients with amyloidosis, a condition that impairs the function of multiple organs and demands the input of several medical subspecialties. Because of the breadth of our experience, complex patients receive the best possible treatment outcome.

Our cardiac surgeons are also experts in the use of ventricular-assist devices (VADs) either as destination therapy (an alternative to transplantation) or as a bridge while awaiting a donor organ. Physicians at Mass General performed the first mitral valve repair in the United States on the SMMART trial, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health to determine whether mitral valve repair can stabilize or reverse dilated cardiomyopathy.

Research Initiatives

All of our physicians are on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, which means they not only have a mission to provide the best possible patient care, but also a commitment to educate the next generation of medical professionals and develop innovations in heart failure treatment.

Our patients also have access to the most advanced research, and innovative medical therapies and devices within clinical trials. Part of a network of sophisticated centers for heart failure research, created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Mass General is a regional research center for high quality and rapid clinical research in heart failure.

Mass General is one of the few select centers in the nation to be awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health in the area of heart transplantation. Our researchers are currently studying how to decrease organ rejection in patients who are highly sensitized (patients who have a lot of antibodies, making it difficult to match appropriate organs).

Conditions and Diseases

The care team at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center encourages all patients and family members to learn more about conditions and diseases that affect the heart and overall cardiovascular system. The links below provide more information about heart conditions and diseases that might be treated within this program.

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is any disease of the heart muscle in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease occurs when cholesterol builds up within the walls of the heart’s arteries (coronary arteries), forming what is called plaque.

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when one or more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by blocked blood flow to the heart muscle.

Heart Failure

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs.

Support and Wellness

Mass General is dedicated to ensuring that people understand their health care choices and have the necessary information to make decisions affecting their health and well being. The related support and wellness information listed below can play a role in treatment options.

 

Patient Guide to Cardiac Surgery (PDF)

Learn what to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center by downloading and printing our patient guide to cardiac surgery.

Understanding and Preparing for a Catheterization Procedure (PDF)

As you prepare for your catheterization, Massachusetts General Hospital clinicians want you to feel as comfortable as possible. To help you understand what to expect during your visit, this booklet describes key steps of your catheterization procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cardiac Anesthesia

The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offers a patient guide to cardiac anesthesia. Our dedicated clinicians believe it is important for you to know what to expect before, during and after a cardiac anesthesia.

Connected Cardiac Care

Connected Cardiac Care is a program offered to heart failure patients at risk for frequent hospitalizations. The program aims to reduce re-hospitalizations by improving patient's understanding of their condition and providing ongoing nursing support and review of key physiologic parameters while the patient is at home.

Visitor's Guide to Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac nurses at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offer support and guidance during a family member's open-heart surgery or transplantation.

Patient and Family Guide to the Heart Center (PDF)

Download our patient and family guide to the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center to learn about accommodations, visiting and parking, and patient discharge.

Heart Failure Education Classes

Clinicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center invite patients with heart failure and their families to attend a series of heart failure education classes.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

New technology keeps heart failure patients healthy and at home

Specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital are now able to statistically identify which inpatients have heart failure and then facilitate connecting these patients to care.

A strongman's second chance

In 2008, the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center completed the most heart transplants in the region. Personal trainer and strongman competitor, Jim Murphy, is one shining example of the great successes of the program.

At home heart failure care

A new clinical trial at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center gives patients the power to monitor their hearts and change their medication dosing daily to prevent the symptoms of heart failure.

New heart monitoring device may prevent hospitalizations, empower patients with heart failure

It’s estimated that more than 5 million Americans are affected by heart failure—a condition characterized by the slow, progressive deterioration of the heart’s pumping ability. The syndrome occurs when the ventricles become too weak to pump sufficient blood to the body or when the ventricles become stiff, hindering blood from filling the heart. Often, heart failure is accompanied by a buildup of fluid pressure in the pulmonary blood vessels.

Chatting with Kimberly Parks, DO, of “Boston Med”

MGH Hotline 08.06.10 Kimberly Parks, DO, a transplant cardiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, is one of several physicians featured in "Boston Med."

Mass. General Patient First in New England to Receive Nerve Stimulator to Treat Heart Failure

Anita Levy, 59, arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2012 with severe heart failure. The mother of four, grandmother of eight and wife of 38 years, was starting to lose hope. After trying a number of therapies without success, her doctors informed her she was a candidate for a new clinical trial.

An advanced cardiac CT scanner

Physicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center use leading-edge technology to identify possible cardiac abnormalities.

Groundbreaking discoveries in heart research

The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center has achieved significant advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Our research discoveries have led to breakthroughs in treatments and technologies, improving the lives of patients worldwide.

Stephanie Moore, MD, describes your risk for heart failure if you have a family history of this condition

Stephanie Moore, MD, cardiologist in the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program at the Mass General Heart Center says if a close relative suffered from heart failure, you should be screened for other health issues that can put you at higher risk. Learn more about the early signs of heart failure and the various treatments available, from medications to pacemakers to transplants.

Patient Guide to Cardiac Surgery (PDF)

Learn what to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center by downloading and printing our patient guide to cardiac surgery.

Understanding and Preparing for a Catheterization Procedure (PDF)

As you prepare for your catheterization, Massachusetts General Hospital clinicians want you to feel as comfortable as possible. To help you understand what to expect during your visit, this booklet describes key steps of your catheterization procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cardiac Anesthesia

The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offers a patient guide to cardiac anesthesia. Our dedicated clinicians believe it is important for you to know what to expect before, during and after a cardiac anesthesia.

Connected Cardiac Care

Connected Cardiac Care is a program offered to heart failure patients at risk for frequent hospitalizations. The program aims to reduce re-hospitalizations by improving patient's understanding of their condition and providing ongoing nursing support and review of key physiologic parameters while the patient is at home.

Visitor's Guide to Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac nurses at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offer support and guidance during a family member's open-heart surgery or transplantation.

Patient and Family Guide to the Heart Center (PDF)

Download our patient and family guide to the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center to learn about accommodations, visiting and parking, and patient discharge.

Heart Failure Education Classes

Clinicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center invite patients with heart failure and their families to attend a series of heart failure education classes.

Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 866-MGH-8910

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes


If you are a new patient, you may call the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center outpatient access office at 866-MGH-8910, or complete our online appointment form to request an appointment. A member of our access team will ask you more about your condition and symptoms, and match you with the best-fitting Corrigan Minehan Heart Center physician.

Next Steps:

patient

Request an appointment at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

Call the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center outpatient access nurse at 866-MGH-8910

Learn about the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center in Waltham

Did you know the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center has a convenient location in Waltham? Learn about treatments and services at our outpatient care center.