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Heart Failure and Treatments
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Maria Mountis, DO

  • Staff Cardiologist

Edward Soltesz, MD, MPH

  • Cardiovascular Surgeon

Heart failure is a major health problem in the United States, affecting about 5.7 million Americans. About 550,000 new cases of heart failure occur each year. If you have heart failure, you will enjoy better health and quality of life if you take care of yourself and keep yourself in balance. It is important to learn about heart failure, how to keep in good balance, and when to call the doctor. Please join us and have your heart failure questions answered my Cleveland Clinic staff cardiologist in the Section of Heart Failure and Transplantation, Maria Mountis, DO, and cardiovascular and heart transplant surgeon in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Edward Soltesz, MD, MPH.

With the right care and treatment plan, heart failure may limit your activities, but many adults still enjoy life. How well you feel depends on how well your heart muscle is working, your symptoms and how well you respond to and follow your treatment plan. This includes caring for yourself (taking medications, being active, following a low-sodium diet, keeping track of and telling your healthcare provider about symptoms that are new or get worse) and living a healthy lifestyle (regular follow-up visits with your healthcare provider, yearly flu shot).

Because heart failure is a chronic long-term illness, talk to your doctor and your family about your preferences for medical care. You can complete an advance directive or living will to let everyone involved in your care know your desires. A living will details the treatments you do or don’t want to prolong your life. It is a good idea to prepare a living will while you are well in case you aren’t able to make these decisions at a later time.

As the condition gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. You cannot go backwards through the stages. For example, if you are in Stage B, you cannot be in Stage A again. The goal of treatment is to keep you from progressing through the stages or to slow down the progression.

Dr. Maria Mountis is Staff in the Division of Cardiology, Section of Heart Failure and Transplantation. She also is the Medical Director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program. She was appointed to the Cleveland Clinic in 2008. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is also certified in adult echocardiography by the National Board of Echocardiography.

Dr. Mountis is a Pennsylvania native, graduating with a B.S. degree in Biology from Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA. She received her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, PA. This was followed by her fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA, where she was also appointed Chief Cardiovascular Fellow. She continued her training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with a fellowship dedicated to the care of patients with Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant.

Her professional interests include diagnosis and treatment of advanced heart failure, cardiac transplantation, mechanical assist devices, pulmonary hypertension, and the cardiac care of women.

Edward Soltesz, MD, MPH, is a cardiovascular and heart transplant surgeon in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. He is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic Surgery in general and cardiothoracic surgery.

Dr. Soltesz is the Surgical Director of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and Recovery and the Program Director for Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery residency and fellowship training programs. He also is the Course Director for the American Austrian Foundation/Open Medical Institute Cardiac Surgery Medical Seminar held annually in Salzburg, Austria. Additionally, as the Director of Cardiac Surgery Affiliate Programs at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Soltesz oversees quality and outcomes of more than 15 affiliated programs and 45 surgeons.

Dr. Soltesz’s specialty interests include adult cardiac surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, high-risk coronary bypass surgery, valve repair and replacement, endovascular aortic surgery, minimally invasive hybrid treatment of atrial fibrillation, and complex re-operative aortic and heart surgery, and heart transplantation and assist devices.

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