What is Heart Failure?
In heart failure, or cardiomyopathy, the heart does not pump blood efficiently to the rest of the body. Hormones work to make up the heart's weakness, but eventually they will further reduce the heart's pumping ability. Aggressive treatment is necessary because the condition worsens with time.
Heart failure is usually caused by damage from conditions like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, structural heart defects or heart attacks. As the heart tries to compensate for these conditions, the heart can beat faster, stretch the walls of its chambers and increase muscle tissue. When the muscle is too thick, the heart can't relax and fills with blood resulting in diastolic heart failure. Eventually the heart will become too weak to squeeze properly and systolic heart failure occurs. Because the heart is unable to pump correctly, blood backs up in the veins and leads to fluid buildup in the lungs and other parts of the body called congestive heart failure.
Symptoms of Heart Failure:
Symptoms of heart failure include (but are not limited to):
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Sudden weight gain
- Increased heart rate
- Increased thirst
Managing Heart Failure
Heart failure treatment involves managing symptoms and reducing the risk of further damage. Surgical procedures can sometimes repair other conditions that contribute to heart failure. Implanted cardiac devices (ICDs) are also used to make the heart work more efficiently.
At MountainStar Heart and Vascular, we offer comprehensive disease management programs and individual approach to care. Proper disease management reduces the likelihood of disease progression, hospitalization and mortality. Heart failure patients will receive one-on-one therapy, education and reinforcement to make lifestyle changes to lead a healthy, active life. Our team provides constant follow-up and connection to walk you through your customized care plan.
Our advanced heart failure program offers:
- Comprehensive patient and family education
- Guideline-directed medical therapy
- Treatment of co-morbid conditions including anemia, sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus, COPD
- Care coordination with other medical providers
- Weekly outpatient assessment to determine need for IV diuretics or medication titration
- Urgent evaluation for clinical status change to decrease ER visits
- Lab studies to determine treatment needs and monitor therapy effectiveness
- Constant communication of status and lab results
- Multidisciplinary care including nutrition, pharmacy, social services
- 24-hour on-call support
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Chest X-Ray
- CT Angiography
- Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)