Health Watch - Heart Month: Transplant Alternative

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about American Heart Month and ways to prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease. Even with great advances in medicine, many patients with heart failure don’t have much of a chance at a normal life, but new technology could make a difference.

Congestive heart failure usually leads to deteriorating health, even with medication. Dr. Mark Drazner, a heart failure expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says fewer than half of the patients diagnosed with advanced heart failure live for a year after diagnosis. Transplants offer some hope, but not all patients qualify and there’s a severe shortage of available organs. Last year, the FDA approved a fully implantable device that takes over a lot of the pumping work for the weakened heart. This allows patients with heart failure to lead longer, healthier lives. 

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February 2011


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