Heart Failure is truly the failure of the heart to perform its normal duties as a pump. In general, this is due to the heart becoming too weak or too stiff. This can result in poor blood flow to the body’s vital organs and elevated pressures in the heart and lungs which ultimately lead to congestion (abnormal build up of fluid in the chest, abdomen and extremities). Symptoms include: shortness of breath, fatigue and swelling. Everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs or carrying groceries can become very difficult.
Heart failure can be a serious condition, and in most cases there is no cure. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, many people with heart failure lead full, active, enjoyable lives. For optimal outcomes people need to work closely with their care providers. It’s also helpful to have the support of family and friends who understand your condition.
We provide a Heart Failure Clinic because we understand the importance of the relationship between the patient and their care provider. Having a close relationship with a specialist who truly understands the complexities of heart failure, but also knows your other medical and medication history is important. This relationship is vital in order to make the correct decisions regarding the need for lifestyle modification, medication adjustments or benefits of other therapies such as ultrafiltration, enhanced external counterpulsation, devices such as pacemakers or ICDs, or surgery.