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Congestive Heart Failure: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

What is the treatment?

Congestive heart failure abbreviated as CHF is a condition where the heart is incapable of maintaining sufficient circulation of blood in the tissues or is unable to pump out the poisonous blood that has been circulated back to it via the veins. Congestive heart failure occurs as a result of failure of both the left or right ventricle and sometimes both at the same time. The common signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure include dyspnea, tiredness, dizziness, cough, asthma, stasis and swollen limbs or other body parts or edema. People who suffer from edema tend to cough up blood.

The reasons behind congestive heart failure are coronary artery disease; heart muscle weakness that has been caused by viral infections or toxins in the body caused due to alcohol exposure for a long time; heart valve disorders; high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism. Such conditions in the course of time cause your heart to become weak. Every case of heart failure cannot be fully treated as some of these conditions tend to leave behind permanent damage, however in certain cases treatment along with a change in lifestyle can show better and improved results.

How is the treatment done?

Whether a person is suffering from congestive heart failure can be gathered by observing his/her signs and symptoms. A physical examination by the doctor is necessary- a doctor will generally try to diagnose your heart rhythm patterns in order to understand if there is anything wrong there. Certain crackling sounds may indicate the presence of fluids in the lug region. In order to clear suspicion regarding whether there is fluid or not getting a X-ray done is necessary. A x-ray is capable of detecting any abnormalities that might be present.

Congestive heart failure can be treated with proper medications or by adapting to lifestyle changes. Sometimes surgical procedures are required to rectify abnormal conditions of the heart. A heart transplant method is often considered as a last resort. Dietary changes including cutting down on the amount of salt intake is absolutely necessary. Exercise is advised to patients suffering from heart conditions.

The kind of medications that may be prescribed by the doctor for heart failure includes diuretics, digitalis, beta blockers, vasodilators and calcium channel blockers. The diuretics medications help to kick out excess salt and water content from the body through the process of frequent urination. Another method by which congestive heart failure is treated is prognosis which includes dietary changes and exercise and medications.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Patients who should signs and symptoms of chronic heart diseases are all eligible to go for congestive heart failure treatment and should get themselves checked as soon as possible. Once your doctor diagnoses your medical history and does thorough physical study he/she will prescribe a set of medications or surgeries if necessary.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

All those who suffer from a very weak heart condition or are allergic to certain medications are usually non-eligible and should consider consulting with the physician first before undergoing any kind of treatment.


Are there any side effects?

The common side effects that are seen with congestive heart failure medical treatment are as follows; beta blockers cause dizziness, tiredness and sometimes aggravation of the symptoms. ACE inhibitors cause dizziness, kidney function alterations, cough and heightened potassium levels in the body. Diuretics cause dizziness, increased need to urinate, dehydration, skin rash or redness, itchiness amd sometimes gout. Aldosterone Antagonist’s lead to kidney functioning alterations, swelling of the breasts and heightened potassium levels in the body.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Post-treatment guidelines of congestive heart failure include incorporating dome exercise in your daily routine. Keep your mind and body relaxed and also use techniques that would further relax you. Restrict the alcohol intake as that has chemical and sometimes really reactions with your prescribed drugs. Remember to take your medications on time and in case if you miss a dose consult with your health care provider about the next course of action. Keep track of all your follow-up appointments.

How long does it take to recover?

The time to recover from a surgery takes about two to eight weeks and the time to stabilise the patients deteriorating heart condition can take about six to seven months.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Information not available

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

In some cases treatment results for congestive heart failure can be permanent provided the patients adhere strictly to the post-treatment guidelines. In other cases heart failures or attacks that has happened over a considerable period of time causes lifelong injuries that may not respond to treatment.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Certain alternatives to the medical treatment of congestive heart failure include natural therapies such as consuming CoQ10 supplements, Hawthorne Berry (it is rumoured to better the hearts metabolism), foundation supplements, Vitamin B1 supplements and carnitine which is like a vitamin supplement that has the tendency to stimulate fat breakdown.


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Written ByDr. Rahul Gupta MD - Internal Medicine,MBBS,DM - Cardiology,Fellow European Society of CardiologyCardiology
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