Get Treatment For Heart Failure

Great Surgical Care at Marina del Rey Hospital

Why Choose Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Heart Failure Treatment?

Because heart failure is often a medical emergency, the team of specialists at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital are permanently ready to provide you with the healthcare and treatment you need within the shortest time possible so that you will not experience complications. Since 1969, we have been offering healthcare to the community of Los Angeles and we constantly strive to improve the quality of our services. If you choose our hospital, which has the privilege of being equipped with state-of-the-art technology, for the treatment of heart failure, you will receive the healthcare you need in a warm and compassionate environment.

Every year, approximately 550,000 people in the United States experience heart failure. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump as much blood as it should through the body or when the heart muscle cannot relax to fill the pumping chamber with blood.

It is worthy of note that heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart gradually becomes unable to supply the body with oxygen. As a result of heart failure, pulmonary edema can occur, which refers to the accumulation of excess fluid in the lungs. The majority of cases of pulmonary edema are the result of heart failure. Because heart failure is a very serious condition, half of the people who struggle with it will survive for 5 years, whereas only 30% of the individuals with heart failure will live for 10 years.

The treatment you will receive for heart failure highly depends on the cause of the condition. Accordingly, if heart failure is the result of a valve problem or coronary heart disease, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure. On the other hand, if your heart failure was caused by anemia or infection, you will be prescribed medication to treat these conditions. Most people with heart failure do not need surgery to treat their condition. However, some of the most common surgeries for heart failure are:

  • coronary artery bypass graft: during this procedure, the surgeon will create a bypass with the help of a piece of healthy tissue collected from a part of your body so that blood can subsequently flow normally through your heart if the cause of your heart failure is coronary artery disease, which obstructs the proper blood flow through your heart
  • valve replacement surgery: this is a minimally invasive surgery whose purpose is to replace a narrowed aortic valve that cannot open properly to let blood flow
  • heart transplantation: in severe cases of heart failure, you may need heart transplantation, which involves replacing your damaged heart with a healthy one

Nevertheless, as previously stated, most people with heart failure will be prescribed medication to keep their condition under control. Some of the most effective drugs for heart failure treatment are:

  • angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors: these drugs lower the pressure inside the blood vessels so that your heart will have less pressure to pump against and this medication may also be helpful in improving the ability of your heart to pump blood
  • angiotensin receptor blockers: because some people who take the previous medication experience a persistent cough, they may need to switch to these drugs, which help relax blood vessels and reduce stress on the heart
  • angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors: this medication is a combination of the previous and a neprilysin inhibitor, whose purpose is to promote salt and water loss, as well as to relax blood vessels and lower stress on the heart
  • sinus node I-f channel blocker: the purpose of this drug is to lower your heart rate, which places less stress on your heart
  • diuretics: these drugs lower the amount of fluid in the body and can be useful in the treatment of heart failure because the condition often leads to the accumulation of excess liquids in the body, particularly in the lungs
  • vasodilators: hydralazine and nitroglycerin are the most commonly prescribed vasodilators for people with heart failure, as they widen the blood vessels and thereby reduce the workload on the heart
  • digitalis: this medication promotes a stronger beating of the heart and can also help normalize heart rate and heart rhythm
  • antiarrhythmics: these drugs help keep normal heart rhythm
  • beta-blockers: this medication reduces the tendency of the heart to beat fast and can also help the heart pump blood better over time
  • aldosterone blockers: these drugs work by blocking the effects of the hormone aldosterone, which causes sodium and water retention
  • statins or PCKS9 inhibitors: these drugs are prescribed to people with high cholesterol, which takes a heavy toll on the heart, and prevent a potential heart failure in patients who are at risk

There are 3 types of heart failure, depending on how it occurs, namely:

  • right-sided heart failure: it leads to back-ups in the area that collects used blood
  • left-sided heart failure: it causes failure to properly pump out blood to the body
  • congestive heart failure: it results in fluid backing up into the lungs and tissues

Symptoms of Heart Failure

The most common symptoms of heart failure include:

  • shortness of breath while resting, exercising, or lying flat
  • weight gain from water retention
  • visible swelling of the abdomen, legs, and ankles from fluid buildup
  • fatigue and weakness
  • loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain
  • a persistent cough

Diagnosis of Heart Failure

The diagnosis of heart failure begins with a physical exam and with your physician asking you questions about your health history and the symptoms you are experiencing. If they suspect heart failure, they may order one or more of the following tests and exams:

  • chest X-ray: by using this test, the doctor will be able to see the size and shape of your heart and any abnormalities that may be present, as well as whether you have fluid in your lungs as a result of heart failure
  • echocardiogram: this test uses sound waves to assess the motion of the chambers and valves of the heart, provides the doctor with images of your heart, and also shows how well the heart pumps and relaxes, the thickness of the heart walls and whether the heart is enlarged
  • electrocardiogram: the purpose of this test is to record the electrical activity of the heart and can show abnormal heart rhythms and heart muscle damage
  • BNP testing: as a hormone released from the ventricles that occurs with heart failure, B-type natriuretic peptide present in large amounts in the blood can indicate this condition
  • cardiac MRI: by using magnetic fields to offer clear images of your heart to your physician, cardiac MRI is a very useful test in assessing the damage caused by heart failure to your heart

There are numerous causes for heart failure, some of the most common being the following:

  • heart valve disease
  • high blood pressure
  • active infections of the heart valves or heart muscle, such as endocarditis
  • a past heart attack
  • coronary artery disease
  • disease of the heart muscle
  • heart disease or problems that are present at birth
  • heart rhythm problems
  • chronic lung disease and pulmonary embolism
  • some medicines
  • a reaction to medicines such as those used for chemotherapy
  • anemia and too much blood loss
  • complications of diabetes
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • certain viral infections

Furthermore, there are some risk factors concerning lifestyle that can actively contribute to the development of heart failure, such as:

  • obesity: carrying excess weight can easily lead to high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes, all of which are majorĀ  risk factors for heart failure
  • smoking: because smoking increases the risk of heart disease, it also places the tobacco user at a higher risk of heart failure over time
  • physical inactivity: engaging in regular exercise promotes healthy cholesterol levels and keeps diabetes under control

Fortunately, there are several alternative therapeutic approaches for heart failure that will help you keep your condition under control in combination with standard treatment, such as:

  • walking or riding a stationary bicycle, which promotes the health of the heart
  • regular tai chi practice, which was found to improve the quality of life and mood of people with heart failure

While you cannot prevent the onset of heart failure if you have a predisposition to it, you can lower your risk by avoiding risk factors that concern lifestyle, such as:

  • quitting smoking
  • engaging in regular exercise
  • drinking alcohol in moderation
  • avoiding drugs
  • seeking treatment for high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • keeping diabetes under control with medication and exercise
  • maintaining a healthy weight

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