Congestive heart failure as a consequence of ischemic heart disease is an increasing medical problem. Notwithstanding the huge advances in the medical and conventional surgical management of heart failure, eventual outcomes remain suboptimal. This 2 part article outlines the magnitude of the problem, the limitations of conventional therapies as they exist, and the use of newer procedures that directly address the restoration of ventricular pump function. The first part of the article deals with the pathology of different facets of the remodeling process, and the unique anatomy, geometry and flow dynamics as they pertain to ventricular function in the normal as well as the failing heart. It then details the limitations of conventional therapy, thereby laying the basis for the need and evolution of newer surgical procedures and ends with the selection of patients for ventricular restoration procedures and the pitfalls in the choice of patients for such newer techniques.