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Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should. It can affect one or both sides of the heart.

Illustration of a normal heart vs. an enlarged heart

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What are the symptoms of heart failure?

Signs and symptoms of heart failure may include the following:

  • shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down
  • fatigue
  • swelling (edema) in your legs, ankles and feet
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • a reduced ability to exercise
  • persistent cough or wheezing with phlegm
  • increased need to urinate at night
  • swelling of your abdomen (ascites)
  • fluid retention, causing rapid weight gain
  • lack of appetite and nausea
  • difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
  • sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus

See your doctor if you think you might be experiencing signs or symptoms of heart failure. Seek emergency treatment if you experience any of the following:

  • chest pain if your heart failure is caused by a heart attack
  • fainting or severe weakness
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat associated with shortness of breath, chest pain or fainting
  • sudden, severe shortness of breath and coughing up pink, foamy mucus

What are the causes of heart failure?

Heart failure often develops after other conditions have damaged or weakened your heart, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, hypertension, or faulty heart valves. But heart failure can also occur if the heart becomes too stiff.

In heart failure, the main pumping chambers of your heart (the ventricles) may become stiff and not fill properly between beats. In some cases of heart failure, your heart muscle may become damaged and weakened, and the ventricles stretch (dilate) to the point that the heart can’t pump blood efficiently throughout your body. Over time, the heart can no longer keep up with the normal demands placed on it to pump blood to the rest of your body.

The human heart

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Schedule a personalized assessment and find out your treatment options.

Dr. Moinakhtar Lala and Dr. Mehran J. Khorsandi of CACVI

Dr. Moinakhtar Lala and Dr. Mehran J. Khorsandi

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The Center for Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Interventions (CACVI) is led by Dr. Khorsandi and Dr. Lala, who have over thirty years of practice with over 15,000 successful vascular and cardiac procedures performed. Our physicians are determined to provide each patient with unparalleled expertise and compassionate care as they work diligently to improve your health.
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