Advanced Heart Disease

Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump or fill with adequate blood, forcing the heart to work harder to deliver blood to the body. Advanced heart disease also is called congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, fluid on the lungs or ventricular dysfunction. Meet our Advanced Heart Disease Team and learn more about prevention and treatment options. Our advanced heart disease and mechanical circulatory support experts provide patient care primarily at Banner - University Medical Center Tucson. These physicians specialize in caring for patients with heart failure, particularly people who experience persistent symptoms despite medical therapy. They also have expertise treating advanced heart disease patients with pulmonary hypertension, liver and kidney complications. Please click on a title below to learn more about these topics.

General Information

Thanks to the collaboration of the Advanced Heart Disease and Cardiac Electrophysiology teams, Patrick Burkhart recently bought a Jeep and has the confidence to wander dirt roads deep into the beautiful national forests that surround Cottonwood – confidently driving beyond cell tower range.

Heart failure affects approximately 6.5 million Americans and 900,000 new cases are diagnosed every year, with women accounting for 505,000 new cases. Heart failure can happen to anyone, but some people are at greater risk than others.

Heart failure disproportionately affects racial/ethnic minorities and women. Recognizing racial/ethnic and sex differences is the first step to overcome these disparities. Dr. Khadijah Breathett encourages a concerted effort by patients, providers, and the health system to ensure equitable health care to all. So let’s bridge this gap together!

A small, implantable pressure sensor is giving an Arizona woman control and confidence to manage her heart condition.

From Stage A through D, don't pass Stage A!

Contrary to what its name suggests, heart failure does not mean that the heart suddenly stops working. Instead, heart failure occurs as a result of weakened heart muscle. Injury to the heart such as damage caused by a heart attack, high blood pressure, or abnormalities in a heart valve are all causes of muscle weakening. It's important for people to know about heart failure, how to detect it and how patients should work with cardiologists to improve their odds of living a longer, better quality of life.

The focus of care in advanced heart failure is improving survival, but also quality of life. Medication is the first line of treatment, but when this fails, patients are often considered for heart transplant, the gold standard for treating end-stage heart failure. However, barriers, such as the shortage of donor organs, require heart-failure specialists to seek creative solutions. That’s where mechanical circulatory support technology can help many patients not just live longer, but live better.

View videos of patients who are part of the UA Sarver Heart Center and Banner University Medical Center - Tucson Mechanical Circulatory Support and Heart Transplant Programs.