Heart failure

Almost six million Americans have heart failure, and more than 870,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65.

The term "heart failure" doesn't mean that someone's heart has stopped. Heart failure is a chronic progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to effectively pump or fill with enough blood to meet the body’s demand.


You’re at greater risk of developing heart failure if you’ve had:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coronary artery disease/heart attack
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart rhythm disorders, such as AFib
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease


The symptoms of heart failure are often progressive and may be initially dismissed as other less-threatening conditions. Common symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath after exertion, sometimes at rest or when laying down to sleep
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles and feet
  • Lack of appetite
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Swelling of the abdomen or sudden weight gain


At Edward-Elmhurst Health, you will undergo a comprehensive evaluation if you are suspected of having heart failure and it begins with a thorough history and exam.

Additional testing may include:

  • EKG
  • Echocardiogram (ultrasound of your heart)
  • Cardiac MRI, CT and PET scans
  • Exercise stress test
  • Coronary angiography
  • Right heart catheterization


Heart failure can be managed, and with treatment, doctors can slow the progression, improve heart function and quality of life.

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, you have access to the latest innovations for treating heart failure, backed by the strength of skilled cardiologists and advanced practice providers with a full range of support services.

Treatment may include:

  • Medications including ACE Inhibitors, ARBs, ARNIs, Beta-blockers, SGLT2 inhibitors, digoxin and diuretics
  • Cardiac procedures including angioplasty, stents and coronary bypass
  • Implantable devices such as cardiac resynchronization pacemakers and/or defibrillators, CardioMEMsor Barostim
  • Referral to the Cardiac Innovations and Structural Heart Center® for evaluation of valve disease and consideration for surgical versus non-invasive valvular procedures

Find a specialist


The CardioMEMS™ (cardio microelectromechanical heart failure system) sensor is the first FDA-approved heart failure monitoring system proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions for heart failure and improve the quality of life for qualifying patients.

CardioMEMS is a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor implanted during a minimally invasive procedure. It directly measures pulmonary artery pressure, allowing patients to quickly and conveniently transmit data from their homes to their healthcare providers.

Edward Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital were two of the first hospitals in the Chicagoland area to implant the CardioMEMS system and participated in the clinical trial that led to the approval of the device.


Barostim™ is FDA approved and has been shown in clinical studies to safely improve the symptoms of heart failure and quality of life for patients.

Barostim is a simple and implantable device that works by stimulating baroreceptors, which are natural sensors in your body that tell the nervous system how to regulate heart, kidney and vascular function. These effects reduce the heart’s workload and help it pump more efficiently, thus improving symptoms of heart failure.

Education and support for heart failure patients

If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, we can help you control the disease to prevent further complications and maintain a good quality of life. The most successful way to keep heart failure from worsening is through medical management and lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise and smoking cessation. Learn more about supportive programs to stay on top of your heart health.

Heart failure clinics

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers clinics to help manage heart failure at both Edward Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital campuses. These outpatient clinics are led by heart failure nurse practitioners and registered nurses. Individualized care is provided to optimize quality of life and prevent hospitalization.

Our heart failure specialists empower patients through education to take an active role in their care. During visits, medications will be optimized, fluid status will be monitored closely, and remote monitoring may be used with OptiVol, CardioMEMs and Heartlogic. All visits include labs and may include intravenous medication.

If you or your loved one may benefit from this service, please discuss with your cardiologist or primary care provider.

Meet the heart failure nurse practitioners:

fleps lauren

Lauren Fleps, MSN, BC-ANP

manzara lauren

Lauren Manzara, MSN, BC-ANP

tague anne

Anne Tague, MS, BC-ANP

verbus ashley

Ashley S. Verbus, MS, BC-ANP

Heart failure clinic locations:

Specialty Care Clinic (Heart Failure)
Elmhurst Hospital
1200 S. York St., Suite 1132
Elmhurst, IL 60126

Center For Cardiac Health (Heart Failure)
Edward Hospital
801 South Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60540 

Heart and vascular locations