State-of-the-Art Treatments for Heart Failure from an Expert Team
Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart is not able to pump blood well enough to supply blood and oxygen to the rest of the body. It does not develop suddenly, but happens over time as the heart’s pumping ability declines and cannot keep up with the workload.
The condition leads to a buildup of fluid in the body and causes symptoms such as:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Swelling of the abdomen and lower body
Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for people over 65, but proper management can help people live better with symptoms and keep them out of the hospital.
Heart failure can affect the right side, left side, or both sides of the heart. Right sided heart failure occurs if the heart can’t pump enough blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. Left sided heart failure occurs if the heart can’t pump enough oxygen rich blood to the rest of the body.
- Coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- Valvular heart disease
- Age, gender, and/or race
- Abnormal heart rhythms
The cardiovascular specialists at Hackensack Meridian Health provide comprehensive treatment and personalized attention to manage symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life. Our multidisciplinary team of physicians, cardiac nurses, dietitians and cardiac rehabilitation specialists work together to minimize and even reverse symptoms. We also evaluate and help heart transplant patients prepare for surgery in partnership with New Jersey transplant teams.
Our services combine state-of-the-art medical technology, renowned cardiovascular physicians and a full range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments and care in special inpatient hospital units at two leading medical academic centers.
With coordinated outpatient follow-up care, patient education and support in convenient community hospitals throughout New Jersey, patients can get expert, comprehensive heart failure care close to home.
Diagnosing and Treating Heart Failure
Cardiologists use a variety of cardiac diagnostic tests to identify heart failure, including electrocardiography (ECG or EKG), ultrasound (echocardiography) and cardiac catheterization.
Treatment for Early Heart Failure
The goal to treatment is to reduce your symptoms, reduce the chance of developing complications, and slow down the progression of the disease.
Treatment will include:
- Diet and lifestyle changes
- Treatment of irregular heart rhythms
- Cardiac surgery or stenting to replace valves or unblock arteries
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
Treatment for Late Heart Failure
Late heart failure is when even with usual treatment you continue to have symptoms, even at rest. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms and help your heart beat as best as it can through:
- Intravenous medications
- Heart Transplant
- Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) or other mechanical support
- Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart is so damaged it is unable to supply enough blood and oxygen to the body’s major organs.
- The most common cause of cardiogenic shock is damage to the heart muscle from a severe heart attack. Other causes include inflammation of the heart muscle, infection of the heart valves, weakened heart from any cause, or drug overdose or poisoning.
Treatment Cardiogenic Shock
- Medications to treat low blood pressure
- Intravenous fluids
- Ventricular assist device (VAD) or other mechanical support