Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support

Sands-Constellation Heart Institute

Exceptional Care for All Stages of Heart Failure

At Rochester Regional Health’s Center for Advanced Heart Failure & Mechanical Circulatory Support, our experts are specially trained to evaluate, treat and provide acute and long-term care for people with any stage of heart failure. Through our highly trained heart failure team and comprehensive approach, we strive to provide expert care that results in improved outcomes, no matter how complex the case.

The Region's Most Advanced Treatment Options

After a massive heart attack, Joe was in a coma for two weeks. Soon after, he was transferred to the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute, where his care team provided a new method of cardiac therapy designed for heart failure patients — restoring Joe's quality of life and allowing him to continue doing the things he loves!

At Rochester Regional, our specialists provide state-of-the-art heart treatments, tailored to each patient's needs. Heart failure treatments include:
  • Lifestyle changes and medical management
    • Emphasis on nutrition support
    • Close work with our bariatric surgery team, nutritional support, and cardiac rehab
    • Aggressive management of diabetes and other co-morbid conditions that worsen outcomes in heart failure patients, using the newest and best agents available to combat diabetes in patients with heart disease
    • Our own dedicated team of nurses and advanced practice providers that will make house calls, attend doctor’s visits and provide both medical and social support
    • We have a full-time social worker that can help with complex cases, provide resources and help navigate the complicated health care system.
  • Diagnostic and monitoring technologies:
  • SensiVest®: A high-tech vest that measures fluid inside the lungs from outside a person's clothing.
  • CardioMEMs: A sensor monitors the pressure in your pulmonary artery. You take a reading daily from home using the Patient Electronics System, which sends the information to your doctor. After analyzing the information, your doctor may make medication changes to help treat your heart failure.
  • Ventricular assist devices (VADs)A VAD is a mechanical device that helps treat advanced heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): Used in emergencies, ECMO is an in-hospital mode of life support for patients with acute respiratory or cardiac failure. It replaces the actions of either the lungs or both the heart and the lungs, supplying oxygenated blood to the body.
  • Cardiac Contractility Modulation (CCM) Therapy: A minimally invasive implantable device that delivers precisely timed electric pulses to the heart’s right ventricle. Different than a pacemaker or defibrillator, CCM therapy impacts the strength of heart muscle contractions rather than the rhythm. This therapy has shown to decrease heart failure symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue in patients who are not seeing improvements with traditional medication therapy.
  • Experimental Devices and Medications: our team routinely enrolls in many of the most cutting edge clinical trials available in the country. These devices and medications often require careful screening and monitoring but can provide potentially lifesaving devices before they are available on the market.

Other services offered:

  • Patient education programs and support groups
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: We provide you with a personalized program developed by clinical staff, and based on your individual health condition(s) and needs. We offer a state of the art facility and qualified health professionals, including registered nurses and exercise physiologists who provide on-the-spot guidance. Our cardiac rehab program is nationally recognized and offers both individualized and group exercise programs tailored towards numerous different disease states and levels of disability.
  • Nutrition support: we work closely with cardiac certified nutritionists and can help juggle numerous different diet restrictions, manage complex disease states and help optimize nutritional status. They also offer counseling and guidance for weight loss strategies.
  • E-Health at home team: This unique team provides home service and comprehensive engagement across the health care spectrum for complex care cases. Our E-health team of nurses, pharmacists, and advanced practice providers make house calls, attend primary care and specialist appointments and help guide and manage heart failure patients across our health system
  • Genetic counseling: some causes of cardiopulmonary diseases have a genetic component that may be important for family members. We perform genetic testing in the office, most of the time this is covered by insurance, and we can arrange special visits/discussions with our team of genetic counselors if necessary.

Disease States:

Heart Failure: This is an umbrella term that describes many different types and causes of disease. In the simplest of terms, heart failure describes a state where the heart is unable to provide enough support to supply the body. Reasons can include prior heart attacks, familial diseases, viral illness, and countless other causes. Our multidisciplinary team will explore all potential etiologies and ensure guideline-directed medical therapies and devices are offered that can improve both the quality and quantity of life!

Pulmonary Hypertension: This disease state is defined by high pressures within the lungs that can make it challenging to breathe. Unfortunately, this disease can often go unrecognized and untreated for many years. While easy to diagnose, it can be difficult to treat and often will require several medications and procedures. Sometimes patients require intravenous (IV) therapy and rarely even lung transplantation. Our center also specializes in rare types of pulmonary hypertension such as chronic thromboembolic disease (chronic blood clots in the lungs) that requires specialized surgery. We are the only center in upstate New York to offer this surgery.

Amyloidosis: a rare condition caused by abnormal protein either in the liver or bone marrow that causes heart failure.  The disease is often missed and can be fatal if not treated. We work closely with our hematology/oncology and neurology colleagues as this disease can often cause neuropathy and other nerve symptoms and can be linked to cancers and other blood disorders.

Sarcoid: another rare condition that can affect the heart and lungs as well as other organs. Often times this disease can affect the electrical system of the heart and can cause heart failure. We work closely with our pulmonology colleagues in the treatment of many complex cases

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM or HOCM): the most common inherited disease of the heart. Often causes an “enlarged heart” or thickening of the heart muscle. Symptoms can be mild to non-existent, but can also include shortness of breath on exertion, syncope (passing out) and even chest pain. Our comprehensive team evaluates the risk of sudden cardiac death, uses multi-modality imaging for risk stratification, optimizes medications, and when needed provides both surgical and minimally invasive septal reducing procedures.

Clinical Trials we are actively enrolling in:

  • Vwave
  • Guide HF

Check back often, or call our team if you are interested in being considered for a clinical trial. Clinical trials can be searched for at clinicaltrials.gov.

Our Expert Team

Our philosophy is to provide a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary team approach to a complex disease state to optimize outcomes. In addition to our heart failure physicians, we employ a full team of advanced practice providers with specialized heart failure training, heart failure nurses, social work, palliative care, to provide comprehensive care to our patients. We also work closely with our cardiac imaging team, interventional and structural cardiologists, electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons to ensure all facets of a disease state are covered. Every week we have multidisciplinary meetings amongst specialists to review challenging cases to ensure no stone is unturned and all options are evaluated prior to pursuing a treatment strategy.

Meet Dr. Scott Feitell

Why Choose the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute?

Rochester Regional Health is home to one of New York’s leading and largest cardiology programs. As a leader in cardiac care in Western and Central New York, The Sands-Constellation Heart Institute continues to provide the latest, state-of-the-art treatments to our patients. From early-stage care to advanced surgeries and device therapies—we provide comprehensive expertise at every level of care.

National Reputation

Our Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support program is recognized regionally and nationally for superior performance and care. U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, has named Rochester General Hospital, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital and Unity Hospital as 2022-2023 High Performing hospitals for heart failure treatment. This is the highest award a hospital can earn for U.S. News’ Best Hospitals Procedures & Conditions ratings.

Contact Us

Make an appointment, get a second opinion or refer a patient to our Advanced Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program.

Connect with Our Heart Team

For emergent transfers: call (585) 922-7333 and ask to speak to the heart failure team member on call.

Helpful Links

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association

Amyloidosis Foundation

Pulmonary Hypertension Association

Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research

Heart Failure Society of America

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation


Our Heart Failure Experts

Meet the Heart Failure & Mechanical Circulatory Support experts at Rochester Regional Health.

Heart Failure Silver Plus award

Recognized Excellence in Evidence-Based Care

By participating in American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® program, we strive to ensure that our patients get the latest, evidence-based treatment.We’ve been recognized for observing those guidelines so that patients can live longer and healthier lives.