Heart Failure

Heart failure may sound final, but with INTEGRIS treatments and technology coupled with the expertise of INTEGRIS cardiologists, it’s anything but.

When hearts fail, we succeed.

The Mechanics of Heart Failure

Heart failure (also known as congestive heart failure) is a condition in which your heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs. The heart keeps pumping, but not as efficiently as a healthy heart. Usually, the loss in the heart's pumping action is a symptom of an underlying heart problem.

Life After Heart Failure

Heart failure may sound final, but with our treatments and technology coupled with the expertise of Advanced Cardiac Care and the INTEGRIS Heart Hospital cardiologists, it's anything but. Our physicians and specialists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating heart failure with cutting edge technologies and therapies – including LVAD therapy and heart transplant. And often you can get maximally successful results with the latest in minimally invasive robotic or laparoscopic surgeries and procedures.

Understanding Heart Failure

The following are the most common symptoms for heart failure. However, you may experience symptoms differently – and these symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems, including a heart attack. So if you or someone you know experience heart attack symptoms, call 911 immediately.

  • Shortness of breath during rest, exercise, or lying flat
  • Weight gain
  • Visible swelling of the legs, ankles and occasional the abdomen due to a build-up of fluid.
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Persistent cough: Often produces mucus or blood-tinged sputum
  • Reduced urination

At INTEGRIS, we use the most advanced imaging methods and diagnostic tools to determine the cause, severity and prognosis of your heart condition. Some of these diagnostic tests may include:

  • Echocardiogram (Echo): This procedure evaluates the structure and function of your heart by using sound waves recorded on an electronic sensor that makes a moving picture of the heart and heart valves.
  • Chest X-rays: This diagnostic test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs onto film.
  • Blood tests: Measures kidney function, liver function, thyroid function, a complete blood count, and often C-reactive protein if infection is suspected.
  • Angiography: This test assesses how blocked your arteries are by taking X-ray images while a contrast dye is injected. The contrast dye helps the doctor see the shape and flow of blood through the arteries as X-ray images are made.

The cause of the heart failure will guide the treatment plan. The underlying disease, problem or conditions will be treated. Although there is no cure for heart failure due to damaged heart muscle, many forms of treatment may be used to treat symptoms very effectively. Your multidisciplinary team collaborates with you and your physician to develop the treatment plan to your specific case. Treatment options may include:

  • Modification of risk factors: Risk factors you can change include smoking, high cholesterol levels, high blood glucose levels, lack of exercise, poor dietary habits, being overweight and high blood pressure.
  • Medication: Including ACE inhibitors and beta blockers.
  • Pacemaker: A permanent pacemaker is a small device that is put under the skin, often in the chest region just under the collarbone. It sends electrical signals to start or regulate your heartbeat.
  • Implantable Cardioverter/Defibrillator (ICD): A battery-powered device connected to your heart by thin wires and placed under your skin. The ICD keeps track of your heart rate, and if it detects an abnormal heart rhythm it will deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat.
  • Heart transplant: For patients with end-stage heart failure, a transplant may be the best option.
  • Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs): An electromechanical device used to either partially or completely replace the function of a failing heart. These often serve as a bridge to transplant.

Part of heart and vascular care includes managing heart disease and preventing further deterioration to help you live the fullest life possible. To accomplish that, we’ll provide you with education, continued care options and programs even after you are discharged including:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Heart education
  • Anticoagulation Management Clinic
  • Heart Care Program
  • Integrative medicine
  • Palliative care

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INTEGRIS Advanced Cardiac Care

Heart Transplant