Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure or "CHF," is a condition where the heart muscle is damaged and cannot effectively pump blood throughout the body.

Heart failure symptoms

Common symptoms include shortness of breath, difficultly lying flat at night, swelling of the legs, abdominal bloating, increasing body weight, and loss of appetite.

Managing and living with heart failure

With lifestyle modifications and medications, heart failure can be manageable. A patient in the most advanced stage of heart failure may require intravenous medication, an implantable heart pump (VAD or LVAD), or a heart transplant. Heart failure is most common in people over 65 and is the leading cause of hospitalization for this age group. Read more about heart failure in our online health library.

Heart failure treatments

We work closely with patients and their families to design personalized treatment plans to maximize quality and quantity of life. Read about our heart failure treatments arrows

A history of expertise in treating heart failure

For decades, Inova Heart and Vascular Institute physicians have been at the forefront of medical advances in treating heart failure—from minimal symptoms to advanced disease and heart transplantation. Last year we saw more than 1,800 heart failure patients.

Inova's heart failure program is a leader in Northern Virginia and one of the Washington, DC, region's only CMS-certified heart transplant programs. We are a leader in the development and use of VADs or LVADs for patients living with end-stage heart failure.

We are one of the busiest ventricular assist programs in the Mid-Atlantic, and have earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for exemplary, quality care and service.

Our heart failure program doctors and experience

We are Northern Virginia's only heart failure program with cardiologists who are board certified in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. Learn more about our team and their heart failure treatment experience arrows

Our flagship heart hospital in Northern Virginia

The Inova Heart & Vascular Institute's flagship facility is located on the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. We are one of the busiest ventricular assist programs in the Mid-Atlantic, and have earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for exemplary care and service.

Research and clinical trials

For more than 20 years, Inova has participated in research to develop improved devices for both bridge-to-transplant and destination therapy.

The Inova Heart and Vascular Institute team of physicians not only care about the technical aspects of VADs but also what happens once they are implanted.

Patient support group

Inova Heart and Vascular Institute is pleased to offer the Heart and Lung Transplant/VAD Artificial Heart support and education group. The group meets the first Tuesday of every month from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Inova Heart & Vascular Institute Conference Center, ground floor. (VAD patients to meet ½ hour longer.)  Call 703-776-3203.