Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, means your heart muscle is failing to pump blood normally because it is damaged, weak or both.
To determine if you have heart failure, we will review your medical history and discuss your symptoms and risk factors with you. You will also have a physical exam. To confirm your diagnosis, we may perform one or more tests including:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Exercise stress test
Additional tests or procedures may be completed with a hospital that are outside the scope of what we can do in our community clinic.
Heart Failure Treatments
Our specialists will develop an individualized treatment plan that best suits your needs and addresses the cause of your heart failure. Treatments may include:
- Lifestyle modifications: Our team works together to help you make lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. We can also connect you with resources to help you manage weight loss and to quit smoking
- Medication: We can prescribe medications based on the type and severity of your heart failure. Our educators include trained nurses and pharmacists that work closely with you to monitor the ongoing effectiveness of your medication.
- Pacemaker: You may need to have a pacemaker surgically implanted in your chest. The device stimulates your heart so that it beats regularly and works more efficiently.
- Valve repair or replacement: You may need to have a value surgically repaired or replaced. This would be a procedure performed within the hospital and if necessary, our team would refer you to the correct resources to help you with the continued management of your care.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting: If your heart failure is caused by a severe blockage, bypass surgery can create a path for blood to flow around the blockage. This means your surgeon takes a healthy blood vessel (graft) from another part of the body and uses the new blood vessel to bypass the blockage.