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Overview

Heart Failure: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Heart failure is also known as Congestive Heart Failure, or CHF.

How is the treatment done?

Even though it may sound like it, heart failure does not necessarily mean that the heart has failed. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. In some cases, the heart can't fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can't pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. So while the term "heart failure" doesn't mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working, heart failure is indeed a serious condition that requires serious medical care.

Heart failure develops over time as the heart's pumping action grows weaker. The condition can affect the right side of the heart only, or it can affect both sides of the heart. Most cases involve both sides of the heart. Right-side heart failure occurs if the heart can't pump enough blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. Left-side heart failure occurs if the heart can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Right-side heart failure may cause fluid to build up in the feet, ankles, legs, liver, abdomen, and the veins in the neck. Right-side and left-side heart failure also may cause shortness of breath and fatigue (tiredness). The leading causes of heart failure are diseases that damage the heart. Examples include coronary heart disease (CHD), high blood pressure, and diabetes.

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

Heart failure can be treated in a variety of ways, including heart-healthy lifestyle changes, medicines, medical procedures and surgery.

Heart healthy lifestyle changes include eating food that is healthy for the heart, managing stress levels, maintaining a healthy weight, doing regular physical exercise, and quitting habits such as drinking and smoking. While following a heart healthy diet, the patient is advised to eat fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as fat-free milk; fish high in omega-3 fatty acids; fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Intake of sodium has to be restricted as well.

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can lower the risk for congestive heart failure. Patients are required to maintain healthy BMI levels, as well as to try and lose weight, especially for patients who are obese. Managing stress and taking part in routine physical activity are additional ways to help prevent onset of congestive heart failure.

Doctors can often administer medications to treat heart failure. These medications include ACE inhibitors (inhibitors of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme), which help the arteries relax and lower blood pressure, making it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body; diuretics which remove water and salt from the kidneys, and antiplatelet medicines, which stop the platelets from forming clots in the blood.

In some cases, doctors recommend surgery to treat the underlying problem that led to heart failure. These include coronary bypass surgery, heart valve replacement, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), Ventricular assist devices (VADs), and heart transplant.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Heart failure describes the inability or failure of the heart to adequately meet the needs of organs and tissues for oxygen and nutrients. People who experience chest pain and shortness of breath even while at rest are at a risk of developing congestive heart failure, and need to get themselves checked by a doctor.

Are there any side effects?

Heavy or irregular breathing during exercise of any kind of strenuous activity is normal, and if you do not experience any chest pains, there is no need to get yourself checked or treated for ischemic heart disease.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Side effects while treating heart failure are generally side effects of medicines prescribed by the doctor. Many different types of medications are used to treat congestive heart failure, each of which have different kinds of side effects. Antiplatelet drugs can cause diarrhea, rash, or itching, abdominal pain, headache, chest pain, muscle aches, and dizziness. Side effects of anticoagulants are bleeding and necrosis (gangrene) of the skin. Side effects of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors include cough, elevated blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, weakness, abnormal taste, and rash. Taking vasodilators may cause lightheadedness or dizziness, increased or irregular heart rate, or headache. Side effects of calcium channel blockers include constipation, nausea, headache, rash, edema, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and dizziness. Anti-arrhythmics may cause dizziness, blurred vision, anorexia, unusual taste, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

How long does it take to recover?

If your doctor has prescribed medicines for the patient, and has asked him to maintain a proper and healthy lifestyle, then it is actually up to the patient to make sure that they do not develop symptoms of congestive heart failure again. In case the patient has undergone surgery for heart failure, then the results are generally permanent, unless the patient goes back to their previous unhealthy lifestyle, and fails to follow up on medications and further visits to the doctor.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

In case your doctor has only prescribed lifestyle changes and medicines for treatment of your heart failure, then there is no recovery time as such. But in case you have to undergo surgical treatment, then a full recovery after bypass surgery or heart transplant takes around 12 to 15 weeks, or even more.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

While lifestyle changes don’t require any money, treatment of heart failure via medicines or surgical procedures is an expensive treatment, and costs anywhere between Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 30 lakhs.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Treating congestive heart failure is not a one-time process. Apart from changing your lifestyle and indulging in heart healthy eating, even if your doctor has performed surgical procedures to help treat the disease, following it up is very important. Keep a lookout for any complications, including heart failure or arrhythmias. Also, patients need to keep an eye on risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and diabetes control. Make sure you follow the medication plan prescribed to you by your doctor. Order a stress test if you are having problems with new or worsening symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

Safety: Disease Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs, 1,00,000 - Rs. 30,00,000

Popular Health Tips

Early Diagnosis Of Myocardial Infarction And Emergency Management!

DNB Cardiology, DNB MEDICINE, MBBS
Cardiologist, Ghaziabad

Myocardial Infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, is a disorder in which there is a serious blockage of blood flow to the heart and its muscles.  The complete blockage of a coronary artery caused by a rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque is usually the underlying mechanism of an MI. So you can understand that it's a really critical problem and the person suffering from it, needs to be diagnosed immediately.

Symptoms: 

Here are some symptoms which will help to you to understand whether a person is suffering from it or not:

  • The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn.
  • Unexplained shortage of breath or trouble in breathing is an important symptom.
  • Nausea or vomiting may follow after the patient feels lightheaded.
  • Women can face abdominal pain or discomfort in different parts of their body.Women more often have atypical symptoms than men.
  • Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms.
  • An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest.
  • If you identify any of these symptoms, you must immediately call the medical emergency team and must not neglect the symptoms because these symptoms are really dangerous and can indicate a serious health issue.

Immediate response for myocardial infarction: 

  • After you have identified any of the symptoms described above that person may be suffering from Myocardial Infarction, the first thing which you must do is call the emergency response team or ambulance. Here are some tips for such a situation:
  • The most important thing you must do is to stay calm and stay with the person all the time. Make the patient lie down and keep interacting with him or her.
  •  If the person affected is not allergic to aspirin, then make him or her chew a baby aspirin. Do not let the person swallow it without chewing because it becomes more effective in that case.
  • If the person stops breathing then you must perform the CPR immediately or someone around you who is qualified to do so. If you are alone then the medical response team can help you perform it by guiding you via phone.
  • The patient should be immediately shifted to a nearby hospital for immediate medical attention.
  • ECG should be done immediately to diagnose the condition.

Treatment: 

A myocardial infarction requires immediate medical attention. Treatment aims to preserve as much heart muscle as possible and to prevent further complications. Treatment in general aims to unblock blood vessels, reduce blot clot enlargement, reduce ischemia. The main treatment for myocardial infarctions with ECG evidence of ST elevation (STEMI) inc.

2540 people found this helpful

10 Strange Facts About Sudden Cardiac Arrest!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
10 Strange Facts About Sudden Cardiac Arrest!

Sudden cardiac arrest or SCA as it is commonly called is one of the major causes of death in India. As per a study conducted by WHO, approximately 4280 out of every one lakh people die every year from SCA in India.

What exactly is a sudden cardiac arrest?
A sudden loss of heart function, consciousness, and breath which leads to obstruction of blood flow to the rest of the body is known as sudden cardiac arrest. If not treated immediately, this could lead to sudden cardiac death.

Read on to know some shocking facts about sudden cardiac arrest:

  1. About 90% of people who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest do not survive and die before they reach a hospital or medical care.
  2. SCA takes more lives than AIDS, breast cancer, lung cancer, or stroke.
  3. Most cases of SCA are caused by congestive heart failure. This is due to cardiovascular disease, where there is an accumulation of fat deposits on the walls of the blood vessels. This leads to narrowing of the vessel thickness, and reduced blood supply to the various parts of the body. When the blood supply is significantly reduced, there is a heart attack. A similar blood supply cut off to the brain would lead to stroke.
  4. SCA is often seen in patients who have had a prior heart attack. There are, however, patients who seem quite healthy and suffer a SCA. These people may never be diagnosed of their underlying heart disease and may not know that they have a serious problem.
  5. Most cases of SCA can be managed by giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the right time. This helps keep oxygen supply intact until proper medical help arrives. It is quite easy for people to get trained on CPR, which can help save the life of a stranger or a family member. Given by someone who is near the individual who is having the attack, this is also known as bystander CPR.
  6. It has been proven that bystander CPR improves the rate of survival by almost 50%. It also reduces neurologic complications when done immediately.
  7. Silent cardiac arrests often occur when there is no visible exertion.
  8. SCA are often seen in patients who have had myocardial ischemia (cut off of blood supply to the heart) and there is often no associated chest pain in these cases. The only symptom could be breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, and loss of consciousness.
  9. Most heart attacks occur at home, and have a high chance of being ignored. There is a high chance of recurrence, and statistics indicate that less than 2% people survive if they suffer a repeat attack within a month.
  10. SCA is more often seen in the elderly, diabetic, and women population.
     
2605 people found this helpful

Congestive Heart Failure - Understanding The Different Stages!

MCH DNB (CTVS), Advanced fellowship, MS
Cardiologist, Delhi
Congestive Heart Failure - Understanding The Different Stages!

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic and progressive condition that reduces the pumping efficiency of the heart. There will be a buildup of fluid around the heart over a period of time. This fluid accumulation then will be seen in the abdomen, legs, lungs, and liver. This could be a life-threatening situation that requires immediate attention. Read to know to more about stages, causes, symptoms, and treatment of this condition.

Stages

There are 4 stages of heart failure, which is based on history and presenting.

  • Stage A: These people have a strong family history of hypertension, diabetes, or heart problems and have a fat-rich diet and history of alcohol or drug abuse, smoking.
  • Stage B: These people have the disease but have no symptoms. They may have hypertension, which needs to be controlled.
  • Stage C: They have definite cardiac symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath even with walking or bending over. These patients need to monitor lifestyle including diet, exercise, and alcohol usage.
  • Stage D: Even after treating CHF, these patients continue to have symptoms and require lifestyle changes, medications, and even surgical intervention in some.

Symptoms 

In its initial stages, CHF will not present with any symptoms. Gradually, there will be symptoms which can be constant or intermittent.

  • General fatigue and weakness: Reduced blood supply to the vital organs reduces overall energy levels in the patient.
  • Faster heart beats: Since the efficiency has reduced, the heart muscles work harder to meet the body demands, causing faster heart rate.
  • Shortness of breath: Due to congestion of the lungs, their efficiency is reduced and so the person gets short of breath much easily than before. There is also difficulty breathing, especially when lying flat or at rest. There could be associated dry cough and wheezing, especially at night.
  • Fluid retention: The abdomen, ankles, and legs could be swollen, also resulting in weight gain, nausea, increased nocturnal urination. The internal examination would reveal fluid in the liver and other vital organs too.

Treatment: CHF requires a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases surgical intervention.

  • Changes like quitting smoking, dietary modifications, exercise based on the severity of CHF would be essential.
  • Medications like beta blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors to improve blood pressure, cholesterol-controlling drugs, and diuretics to manage fluid retention would be advised.
  • Angioplasty or value repair surgeries may be required if more severe abnormalities are detected.

Though it cannot be cured, the onset can be delayed and the severity of symptoms reduced with lifestyle changes. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4447 people found this helpful

Cardiac Arrest And Heart Attack - Understanding The Difference Between The Two!

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DNB Cardiology, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Bangalore
Cardiac Arrest And Heart Attack - Understanding The Difference Between The Two!

The news of Sridevi's sudden and unexpected demise was a shock for the entire nation and left a number of questions in the minds of the people. However, there are multiple reasons which are under speculation and can be attributed to her death - cardiac arrest, heart attack and death due to accidental drowning. Usually, cardiac arrest and heart attack are two things which most people use interchangeably, however, there is a big difference between the two. 

Difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack: 
A cardiac arrest is far deadlier considering that it comes without a warning or any prior indication of a problem. Here, the heart just stops beating and immediate first-aid can make a lot of difference between life and death. Electrical shock is the best way to revive a patient and should be given within a few minutes of such an arrest. 

On the other hand, a person suffers a heart attack when there is a blockage in the artery which prevents the smooth flow of oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. It is important to note that unlike a cardiac arrest the signs of heart attack start slow and persists for long.  

A heart attack is one of the common causes of cardiac arrest, but not always it is the case. A cardiac arrest happens most commonly when the heart is receiving more than 300 impulses per minute or due to absent electrical impulses. In the first instance an electrical shock is a lifesaving technique and in the second, the patient can be treated with certain medications and a temporary pacemaker

Symptoms of cardiac arrest:
The symptoms of cardiac arrest are immediate and extreme.

  • A fainting spell or a sudden collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • No pulse or breathing 

Symptoms of a heart attack 

Prevention of a cardiac arrest:
What makes this a deadly condition is that you cannot tell your risks of having one and therefore the next best thing to do is to lower your risks. 
The best way to do that is to:

  • Follow a diet that is balanced and nutritious
  • Alcohol should be consumed in moderation 
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay physically active

How can you prevent a heart attack?

  • Keep yourself fit and exercise regularly
  • Keep your cholesterol level under check 
  • Limit your alcohol intake 
  • If you are obese, control your weight
  • Intake a heart-friendly diet.

Now that the distinction is clear between the two, it is recommended that everyone should get themselves screened for potential heart problems on a regular basis. In case of a query or concern consult an expert and get your answers. 

6336 people found this helpful

Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?

MBBS, MD (Gen. Medicine), DM (Cardiology)
Cardiologist, Delhi
Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Smoking can affect your health in all respects, and it is no different when it comes to your heart. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have heart problems compared to individuals who do not smoke.

How does smoking cast an impact on your cardiac health?
Smoking increases the risk of developing various kinds of cardiovascular issues such as stroke and coronary heart disease. It damages the lining of the arteries which, in turn, paves the way for building up of fatty substances called atheroma which narrows down the artery. This may lead to heart attack, stroke, and angina.

Tobacco contains carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. This indicates that the heart has to work harder for supplying the required amount of oxygen. Cigarettes also contain nicotine which stimulates the production of adrenaline. This instigates the heart to beat at a faster pace and raises the blood pressure.

The chemicals present in the smoke of tobacco can harm your blood cells and retard the normal functioning of the heart. When not inhibited, it can lead to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is an ailment in which a waxy material, termed as plaque builds up in the arteries and limits the flow of blood to different parts of the body.

When plaque builds up for a long span of time, it causes coronary heart disease, and you are likely to experience symptoms such as heart failure, chest pain, heart attack, arrhythmia and heart failure and even death.

Smoking is a major risk factor for another fatal ailment called the peripheral artery disease or PAD. PAD is a clinical condition where the accumulation of plaque in the arteries inhibits carriage of oxygen-rich blood to the head, different organs, and limbs.

With regular smoking, the blood is more susceptible to clotting which surges the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Is there any effect of second-hand smoking?
Second-hand smoking, also referred to as passive smoking means inhaling the smoke ejected while smoking. When a person is regularly exposed to smoke, he or she is likely to have low levels of good cholesterol, damaged heart tissues, and high blood pressure. Various researchers are of the opinion that second-hand smoke of tobacco is a viable cause of heart ailments in nonsmokers. This means, if you are a smoker, you are definite to harm the members of your surroundings.

Why should you quit smoking?
One of the best ways to decrease the risk of having cardiac ailments is to stop smoking. In case you have never smoked, you should never think of starting it for the same reason. You should also try to avoid second-hand smoke by avoiding going to a smoking zone. It would be a great idea to avoid the company of smokers for the periods when they are smoking.
Stay away from smoking for your heart health. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2339 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello, My child is suffering from left side pointed chest pain. It happens 8 to 10 times a day. I had already done eco ,x-ray, Vitamin D test, Blood sugar test, malaria test, platelets test. All are normal. Only White blood cells are 13000. He is 8 years old. Please help me and suggest me.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Fellowship in EP
Cardiologist, Delhi
Children chest pain requires psychological help, not tests. No more tests, no more Drs. Chest pain in children is not heart trouble. Too much worrying will worsen the child's complaints.
3 people found this helpful

Hi, 2d echo: Normal LV Function I am taking concor cor 2.5 mg per day from 2 months. Now Dr. said you can stop it. But as second opinion I request you please give your opinion about stopping it.

MBBS, MD (Gen. Medicine), DM (Cardiology)
Cardiologist, Delhi
If you were taking it for BP, then you need to monitor your BP and if BP and Heart rate are good then maybe your doctor can advise to stop it.
6 people found this helpful

Why is cidmus 200 given when the patient is already taking cidmus 100. After a stent operation is done is another angiography required after one year.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Interventional Fellow- Interventional Cardiology
Cardiologist, Hyderabad
Cidmus is given for heart failure treatment. It is started at a low dose (50 to 100 mg) and slowly increased to a target dose of 200. If a person is doing fine, and NO ACTIVE issues are present, routine angiography after 1 years just to take a look at the stent is not recommended. While this is generally true, each individual case is unique in itself and deserves a dedicated assessment before a decision for angiography is made. Take care.
1 person found this helpful

Doctor, thank you so much for your response. I am regularly monitoring my BP (I have BP machine) and at rest it comes down to 120/75 sometimes even lower. I do annual health check ups and the tests are all fine except for borderline cholesterol. I don't smoke and drink wine once a week. My food intake is minimal, once a week non veg, otherwise vegs, rice, roti, lentils. I have history of heart attack, my mother died due to cardiac arrest and my grandmother too. Maybe thrice or four times a year I get this kind of high BP. I am extremely active and working. Do I need to be cautious because of my history.

MBBS, Dip.Cardiology, Fellowship in Clinical Cardiology(FICC), Fellowship in Echocardiology
Cardiologist, Ghaziabad
Yes of course Live a Healthy Lifestyle Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high blood cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet can also lower your blood pressure. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate a number called the body mass index (BMI).  Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. So, if you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit. Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which causes high blood pressure.  If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, there are steps you can take to lower your risk for heart disease. Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test. Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, closely monitor your blood sugar levels. Talk with your health care provider about treatment options. Take your medicine. If you're taking medication to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don't understand something. Talk with your healthcare provider. You and your doctor can work together to prevent or treat the medical conditions that lead to heart disease. Discuss your treatment plan regularly and bring a list of questions to your appointments
4 people found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Heart Failure
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart does not pump well. This causes the heart to lag behind in its job of moving blood throughout the body. As a result, fluid backs up in the body, and the organs in the body do not get as much blood as they need.
Play video
Heart Diseases
Heart disease symptoms depend on what type of heart disease you have. It's important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss concerns with your doctor. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular evaluations.
Play video
Know More About Heart Failure
Treatments available for Heart Diseases
Play video
Fear of Cardiac Surgery
Hello everyone. I am Dr Ashok Gupta, cardiologist. I would like to bring awareness about the Phobia of Cardiac surgery.

Cardiac surgery is a big think. But because of the advancement in the technique and expertisation, it is becoming 100% safe. Because of the expertisation, the world wide results of surgery are appreciable.

Once the Bypass surgery is done, it works for 15-20 years. So, we should not worry or have fear for the Cardiac surgery.

If you have any querry reagrding Cardiac surgery, you are most welcome.

Thank you.
Play video
Cardiac Problems
Hi, I am Ashok K Gupta. I am a Cardiac surgeon. I would like to tell you all about Cardiac problem.

By 2020, the cardiac problem has become a big hazard for our country. This is associated with Diabetes, blood pressure, smoking, over weight, lack of exercise etc. So, we have to take care of this and avoid such harmful things.

Prevention is better than Cure!

So, it will be better if we are stopping the problem so that you will noe end up with the disease.

ONce we have the problem, we have to go for proper investigation. We have to consult a doctor and proper investigation has to be done like ECG, TMT, CtNgo, Cholangiography. The modality of the treatment is going to be decided after the Angiography, that is the gold standard. Doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani keval Angiography se he hota hai.

So, after getting this, if you have single block, discrete block, tube block, the treatment modality is Angioplasty.

And if you have multiple block, long block in many vessels and it is associated with the diabetes then we should go for the Bypass Surgery.

Thank you very much.
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