Cardiomyopathy (Heart Failure) Clinic

If you have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, it means your heart muscle has been weakened by disease and cannot adequately pump blood through the heart.

Many patients with congestive heart failure need care from multiple professionals such as electrophysiologists who can help with arrhythmia, and cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists who specialize in seeing heart failure patients. 

We were named a destination therapy center in 2010 and are the only hospital in Iowa that offers heart transplants and the latest LVAD (heart pump technology). This means that patients who are not candidates for transplants can be put in a heart pump so that they can live a longer life. As a nationally renowned heart center, we have multiple specialties who work together to take care of patients. Other members of the clinical team include a nurse contact, dietetic specialists to help with diet, and cardiac rehabilitation experts to help with exercise.

There are Three Types of Cardiomyopathy:

Dilated (most common)
The left ventricle becomes enlarged and does not pump as efficiently.
Hypertrophic
Abnormal thickening of the heart muscle affecting the heart's ability to pump blood, making the heart work harder.
Restrictive
Heart becomes rigid and cannot properly fill with blood between heartbeats.

How the Clinic Works

Clinic visits, prompt diagnosis, and close follow-up provide the best results in heart failure. Staff members follow patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings to provide consistent and high-quality care that leads to improved patient satisfaction.

  • Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons evaluate newly referred patients to detect reversible forms of ventricular dysfunction and outline optimal treatment strategies
  • Dietitians provide nutrition intervention, education, and follow-up
  • Nurse coordinators assist in the initial evaluation, coordinate individualized care plans, and provide education in health monitoring techniques for patients and families
  • Pharmacists review medications and monitor patients closely for side effects and drug interactions
  • Physicians and nursing coordinators are available 24 hours a day to assist patients and referring physicians with the most current diagnostic and treatment information available
  • Physical therapists create individualized programs for physical rehabilitation
  • Social workers provide interventions to maximize the patient and family psychosocial environment

Diagnostic Steps may Include:

  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Discovery during a routine checkup
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • MRI
  • X-ray

Type of Treatment Depends on the Type of Cardiomyopathy:

  • Ablation
  • Diuretics
  • Heart transplant
  • Implantable rhythm control device
  • LVAD (ventricular assist device) 
    • Our congestive heart failure program has been named a destination therapy center for LVAD by the Joint Commission. We are the first and only program in Iowa with this designation
    • We can offer this technology not only for patients awaiting a transplant but for other heart failure patients as well
  • Medication including ACE-inhibitors, aldosterone blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, and beta blockers
  • Stem cell therapy

Our specialists have participated in clinical research that has resulted in the currently approved therapies. We continue to participate in clinical studies to determine how to combine current medications with new treatment options. You may be eligible to participate in a trial of new therapies. Learn more about our clinical trials.

Care Team