Sara Kalantari and patient

The University of Chicago Medicine is home to one of the most respected heart failure programs in the country. With experts in heart failure medical treatment, mechanical circulatory support and cardiac surgery, including heart transplant, we are committed to delivering the highest level of care to patients, especially those with advanced or complex disease requiring state-of-the-art therapies. 

What is Heart Failure?

When your heart is healthy, it continuously pumps blood throughout the body via the circulatory system. Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle becomes damaged and is unable to deliver enough nutrient-rich blood to meet the body’s needs for oxygen. In some cases, the kidneys respond to heart failure by retaining water and, as a result, fluid builds up in the arms, legs, lungs and other organs. This condition is referred to as congestive heart failure. While there is no cure for heart failure, medications, lifestyle changes and surgical options can alleviate symptoms and help patients lead an active life.

Signs & Symptoms of Heart Failure

With more than 5 million people suffering from heart failure in the United States, it is so important to understand the causes, signs and symptoms of this condition in order to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The best defense against heart failure is to live a healthy lifestyle. But it is also critical to know when you are experiencing symptoms and to reach out to your doctor as quickly as possible. Patients with heart failure may experience: 

  • Confusion
  • Fatigue

  • Heart palpitations

  • Lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain

  • Persistent coughing

  • Shortness of breath, during exercise or rest

  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs or abdomen
  • Weight gain

These symptoms may be a sign of heart failure or of another medical condition. If you experience one or more of the above symptoms, see your physician for an evaluation.

Conditions That Cause Heart Failure

In most cases, a heart transplant is caused by an underlying, progressive illness. If you have a underlying condition that is not being managed, it can make weaken your heart and exacerbate your condition. Some of the conditions that require a heart transplant include:

Heart Attack USNWR
High Performing in Heart Attack

According to U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Rankings

Heart Failure USNWR
High Performing in Heart Failure

According to U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Rankings

Telemedicine at UChicago Medicine

Doc video chat icon
Schedule a Video Visit

For your convenience and safety, we offer secure and easy virtual visits for most non-urgent visit types. Our care providers can assess your symptoms, make a diagnosis, recommend treatment and send prescriptions to your pharmacy.

Phone appointment icon
Get a Second Opinion Online

Whether you are facing a complex health issue or difficult treatment decision, getting a second opinion can help you make an informed decision about your care. Get an online second opinion from one of our experts without having to leave home.

Why Choose UChicago Medicine for Heart Failure

Explore below to see how we’re advancing heart failure care for adults and children. Our cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons and researchers are delivering the most advanced, most personalized treatments to more of the patients who need them most. 

heart failure comprehensive team strorytelling 370 x 203
heart failure research storytelling 370 x 203
advanced heart failure treatments storytelling 370 x 203
heart transplant patients
heart transplant patient storytelling 370 x 203
Pediatric Heart Failure storytelling 370 x 203
Close Dialog

Find a Heart Failure Location Near You

Request an Appointment

The information you provide will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

You can also make an appointment with our providers by:

Scheduling a virtual video visit to see a provider from the comfort of your home

Requesting an online second opinion from our specialists

To speak to someone directly, please call 1-773-702-9461. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

 

* Required Field