Conditions We Treat at the Advanced Heart Failure Center in Brooklyn, NY
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Heart Failure occurs when your heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of the body is impaired. Your heart still beats, but it pumps less nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. Heart Failure can cause swelling and fluid buildup in your legs, feet, and even your lungs. Fluid backing up into the lungs is often referred to as “congestion,” which is why heart failure is sometimes called “congestive heart failure” or CHF.
Heart Failure often develops when another problem makes the heart weak or stiff so it doesn’t pump or fill normally. What causes congestive heart failure? The list includes coronary artery disease, a previous heart attack, problems with the heart valves, enlargement or infection of the heart, and high blood pressure.
Advanced Heart Failure
Advanced Heart Failure occurs when the condition has progressed to a point where traditional medication and symptom management are no longer working. As the heart failure disease progresses and the heart becomes weaker, treatment gets more complex. When heart failure progresses to an advanced stage, many heart disease treatment options still exist. These options include device therapy and/or cardiac interventional/surgical procedures such as a LVAD (left ventricular assist device), an implantable heart pump or heart transplantation, that can improve heart function, reduce hospitalization risk, and improve survival.
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure
Swollen legs, ankles, feet, and/or stomach (edema)
Shortness of breath
Problems breathing when lying down
Weakness or feeling tired
Physical exam can reveal swelling in legs, ankles, feet or stomach (edema)
Physical exam can reveal fluid buildup in the lungs (congestion)
Echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound) may be needed to confirm the diagnosis
What is Ejection Fraction or “EF”?
Heart function is commonly assessed by using a number called the ejection fraction (EF). The EF is the percentage of blood that is pumped out of the heart with each heartbeat. The normal EF of the pumping heart is 50-60%.
If the heart is damaged, the EF can fall below 40%. This is called systolic heart failure. You can have a normal EF and still have heart failure. This condition is called diastolic heart failure.
An echocardiogram is the test commonly used by a heart valve specialist to evaluate your heart valve function and EF.