Congestive heart failure occurs when your heart can’t pump blood as well as a healthy one. As a result, pressure increases in the chambers of your heart. which can lead to shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs. In addition, fluid can build up in the legs and belly.
Heart Failure Types
Heart failure has two main types of heart failure:
- Systolic heart failure: With this type, your heart muscle doesn’t squeeze strongly enough, meaning it pumps less oxygenated blood through your body.
- Diastolic heart failure: In this type of heart failure, your heart squeezes normally, but the ventricle (main pumping chamber) is stiffened and doesn’t relax like it should.
Heart Failure Symptoms
Heart failure can be acute (starting suddenly) or chronic (developing more slowly). The symptoms are similar in both conditions but are usually more severe in acute heart failure. These symptoms include:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath, cough, or wheezing
- Weakness, fatigue, difficulty with exercise
- Swelling in your legs, ankles, feet, and abdomen, which can lead to weight gain
- Difficulty eating and decreased appetite
- Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
Heart Failure Causes
Heart failure can result from several conditions that weaken the heart:
- Coronary artery disease – plaque in the arteries that carry blood and oxygen to your heart, reducing blood flow to your heart muscle.
- Heart attack can result from sudden blockages in a coronary artery causing injury to the heart muscle.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy can occur from coronary artery disease as well as infections, alcohol and drug usage, systemic medical diseases, or genetic disorders.
- Other conditions can put stress on the heart, leading to heart failure. These include high blood pressure, heart valve disease, thyroid disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or heart problems you’ve had since birth.
Why Choose Englewood Health for Heart Failure Care?
At Englewood Health, we offer:
- Comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for heart failure, including nonsurgical and surgical methods
- Multidisciplinary team with specialized training and extensive experience that works together to treat patients with heart failure
- Sophisticated diagnosis and imaging to pinpoint the cause of your weak heart
- Individualized care to treat heart failure and manage your condition over time
- Advanced technology such as the Impella® heart pump for patients with severe heart failure, which supports the heart’s function during procedures
- Cardiac rehabilitation program to support your recovery and help you return to your routine
- A patient- and family-centered care approach that respects your concerns and includes you as an active partner in managing your health
Our Heart Failure Treatment Team
At the Heart and Vascular Institute, you receive treatment from a team of specialists. Your care team may include:
- Cardiologists who specialize in heart function and managing chronic heart conditions through medications or interventional procedures. A heart failure specialist is a cardiologist with specialized training to provide the most advanced treatments available.
- Cardiothoracic surgeons who specialize in operations to repair damaged hearts
- Rehabilitation specialists who help you recover through targeted therapy, exercise and nutritional support