Coronavirus Latest Updates

  • Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text Size
  • Increase Text Size
  • PDF

Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program

Request An Appointment or Refer a Patient | Call 866.WMC.HEART or 866.962.4327

Pioneering Therapies at a World-Renowned Program

The growing, cutting-edge Heart Failure Program is a regional, national and global leader in providing the most complex therapies, including transplantation and mechanical circulatory support for patients in the Hudson Valley and beyond.

The Heart Failure Program is known for its vast clinical experience, leading-edge technology and the highest quality of care. Tailored medical therapy is always the first-line strategy in caring for patients at any stage of heart failure. When patients continue to be symptomatic, they are evaluated for advanced therapies. In addition to transplant, services include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which its team helped pioneer; left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation; and use of the CardioMems heart failure system, which helps optimize patients’ health with the goal of delaying or avoiding the need for advanced therapies.

To provide exceptional services conveniently close to home, the heart failure team expanded to Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of WMCHealth in Suffern, in 2017. The program has seen sustained growth in inpatient consultations and a decrease in heart-failure readmissions. It cares for patients on site and transfers patients in need of advanced therapies to Westchester Medical Center. In addition, patients receiving transplants or LVADs at Westchester Medical Center can receive follow-up care at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Innovative “Heart-In-a-Box” Technology

Westchester Medical Center is the first hospital* in New York State to transplant a heart with the assistance of “Heart-In-a-Box,” a portable medical technology that keeps the donor heart pumping blood after its procurement.

This medical technology – the TransMedics® Organ Care System™ – keeps the heart beating and perfused with warm blood throughout transport. Circulating blood through the heart makes the organ less likely to sustain damage during procurement. This also permits the transportation of donor hearts over longer distances, thus increasing the number of available donor hearts. Learn more about the use of this innovative heart transplant technology at Westchester Medical Center.

*According to TransMedics

Heart Transplantation Program  

The Heart Transplantation Program is the only one of its kind in the Hudson Valley. The program’s significant growth and expertise have led to outstanding patient outcomes and outreach in the entire New York metropolitan area.

More than a decade ago, Westchester Medical Center had performed 10 heart transplants. In a recent year, the team performed 38 transplants, ranking it No. 2 in New York State and in the top 10 percent of transplant centers nationwide. WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute patients’ wait for a donor heart is the shortest in the region. Collaboration with other Westchester Medical Center specialists has led to the hospital performing the most combined solid-organ transplants – heart/kidney or heart/liver – in the region, and having one of the highest volumes in the nation.

Cardiologists with WMCHealth Physicians have relationships with referring cardiologists throughout the entire Tri-State Region, as far north as Rochester and as far east as Suffolk County.

Westchester Medical Center is one of only a few transplant centers with a dedicated transplant immunologist and an on-site tissue-typing lab. This helps accurately assess the patient’s immunological risk and provide tailored immunomodulation therapy to ensure the best organ compatibility.

Westchester Medical Center’s investments in the most contemporary technology, blended with the surgical team’s experience and expertise, provide patients with optimal care conveniently located right here in Westchester County, serving the Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut. This personalized model provides a high level of care without the stress of extended travel, particularly for a patient with advanced heart disease.

Patients are seen at Westchester Medical Center’s new Ambulatory Care Pavilion, home to the LVAD Clinic and where a dedicated team, including physicians, physician assistants and medical assistants, combines to care for patients with these devices and provide advanced clinical management.

Left Ventricular Assist Devices

Westchester Medical Center’s mechanical circulatory device program includes technologically advanced LVADs, including the HeartWare and HeartMate 3 centrifugal flow pumps. The program is co-directed by Avi Levine, MD and Masashi Kai, MD, and provides mechanical pumps as a bridge to transplant or long-term destination therapy.

Over the last 10 years, more than 150 LVAD implantations have been performed. Patients return home with more energy, less shortness of breath and greater quality of life. They can participate in regular daily activities, exercise and become optimal transplant candidates. LVADs are also offered to patients with a contraindication to transplant.

Our team collaborates with specialists in psychiatry and social work to help patients and their families cope with the emotional stress of advanced heart failure. Monthly support groups are available and include the participation of patients that have had a transplant or are being supported with an LVAD.

ECMO: Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Westchester Medical Center’s Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program is one of the world’s busiest, and has one of the highest survival rates as a bridge to traditional cardiac surgery, transplant, LVAD or recovery of cardiac function. Patients admitted to our hospital or transferred in extremely critical condition with little hope of survival are placed on a pump either in the cardiac catheterization lab or in the Hybrid Operating Room without undergoing open- heart surgery.

The ECMO team, which is comprised of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and cardiac perfusionists, is one of the pioneers in this field, and its findings have been published in peer- reviewed journals and presented at national meetings. Their unique approach and excellent results led to the WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute team educating hospitals about starting an ECMO program and the critical-care management of these patients.

TeleHealth: Exceptional Care, Digitally

As the program’s referral base has grown, patients from farther away travel to Westchester Medical Center. That distance sometimes meant patients were not as able to come to appointments, which translated into lesser outcomes. Through TeleHealth, patients and their physicians, via secure audio and video, can collaborate with physicians and nurses at WMCHealth hospitals to enhance monitoring, diagnostics, treatment and communication.

Research

Our team participates in clinical trials utilizing investigational medications and new mechanical-assist devices. Physicians have used new molecular techniques to find noninvasive ways to detect rejection and understand mechanisms for rejection that may have future diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

Appointments, Referrals and Information

866.WMC.HEART (866.962.4327)
914.493.8793

Ambulatory Care Pavilion
Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595

Learn more about Heart Failure care at Westchester Medical Center.
Learn more about Heart Transplant at Westchester Medical Center.