On January 1, 2020, Carol and her husband traveled to Florida for the start of their four-month winter vacation. Carol felt fatigued as soon as she arrived, but did not initially give much thought to it. After a few days, Carol’s exhaustion had grown, and she’d developed a new pain in her abdomen.
Corrigan Minehan Heart Center
Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program
Explore This Treatment Program
Care During COVID-19
Our dedicated physicians, nurses and staff are committed to providing the best possible care. We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure office visits, procedures and surgeries are welcoming and safe. Your health and safety is our top priority.
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.
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.
Conditions We Treat
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
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.
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
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:
- Pacemaker insertion/defibrillator insertion
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (traditional bypass surgery or beating cardiac surgery)
- Heart transplantation
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs) as a bridge to transplant
- Valve repair surgery
- Valve replacement surgery
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.
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).
Meet Our Cardiac Specialists
Our multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurse practitioners and nurses develop a customized care plan for every patient. All of our specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating heart failure as well complex cardiac conditions.
- Medical Director, Mechanical Cardiac Support Program
- Surgical Director, Heart Transplantation and Ventricular Assist Devices
- Member of Faculty, Harvard Medical School
- Section Head, Heart Failure
- Director, Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Laboratory
- Medical Director, Cardiac Transplantation Program
- Associate Program Director, Interventional Cardiology Fellowship
- Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Medical Director, MGH Cardiac ECMO Program
- Co-Director, Resynchronization and Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics (ReACT) Program
- Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Assistant in Medicine, MGH
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Blum Center Program: Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Mental Health, and Resiliency Over the Holidays
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In this presentation from July 20, 2021, Dr. Doreen DeFaria Yeh reviews the specific medical issues that develop among children and adults born with a complex congenital heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot.
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