Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. In this condition blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. Therefore, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs. The chambers of the heart respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through the body or by becoming thicker and stiffer. This helps to keep the blood moving for a short while, but then the heart muscle walls weaken and are not able to pump as strongly. The heart muscle walls are damaged and do not pump or fill normally. The kidneys often respond by causing the body to retain fluid (water) and sodium. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs or other organs, the body becomes congested; congestive heart failure is the term used to describe this condition. Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people over age 65.
Symptoms of Heart Failure
Symptoms of heart failure most often begin slowly. At first, they may only occur when you are very active. Over time, breathing problems and other symptoms may be noticed even when you are resting. Common symptoms are:
Shortness of breath with activity, or after lying down for a while
Swelling of feet and ankles
Swelling of the abdomen
Irregular or rapid pulse
Fatigue, weakness, faintness
Loss of appetite, indigestion
Other symptoms may include decreased alertness or concentration, decreased urine production, nausea and vomiting and increased urge to urinate at night. Infants may sweat a lot.
Some patients with heart failure have no symptoms. In these people, the symptoms may develop only with these conditions:
Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
Infections with high fever
Types of Heart Failure
Left-Sided Heart Failure - In left-sided or left ventricular (LV) heart failure, the left side of the heart must work harder to pump the same amount of blood. There are two types of left-sided heart failure. Drug treatments are different for the two types.
Systolic failure: The left ventricle loses its ability to contract normally. The heart can't pump with enough force to push enough blood into circulation.
Diastolic failure or dysfunction: The left ventricle loses its ability to relax normally (because the muscle has become stiff). The heart can't properly fill with blood during the resting period between each beat.
Right-Sided Heart Failure - Right-sided or right ventricular (RV) heart failure usually occurs as a result of left-sided failure. When the left ventricle fails, increased fluid pressure is, in effect, transferred back through the lungs, ultimately damaging the heart's right side. When the right side loses pumping power, blood backs up in the body's veins.
Congestive Heart Failure - Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure which requires seeking timely medical attention, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably. A test called the ejection fraction (EF) is used to measure how well your heart pumps with each beat to determine if systolic dysfunction or heart failure with preserved left ventricular function are present.
Causes of Heart Failure
Heart failure is caused by many things that damage the heart muscle, including:
Coronary artery disease
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms)
Obesity (being overweight)
Medications — some chemotherapy agents
Heart failure often occurs when several diseases or conditions are present at once.
Test and Diagnosis of Heart Failure
A physical examination may reveal the following:
Fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion)
Leg swelling (edema)
Neck veins that stick out (are distended)
Swelling of the liver
Listening to the chest with a stethoscope may reveal lung crackles or abnormal heart sounds. This condition may also alter the results of other tests which include blood chemistry, complete blood count, creatinine clearance, liver function tests, blood test (Uric acid, Sodium), Urinalysis.
The following tests may be used to diagnose or monitor heart failure:
Cardiac stress tests
Heart CT scan
MRI of the heart
Nuclear heart scans
Treatment of Heart Failure
Heart failure caused by damage to the heart that has developed over time can't be cured. But it can be treated, quite often with strategies to improve symptoms.
Heart failure patients need multiple medications. Each one treats a different symptom or contributing factor. It's important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects.
Medicines decrease the clotting (coagulating) ability of the blood. Thus blood thinners or anti-coagulators are usually advised. They do not dissolve existing blood clots but are used to treat certain blood vessels, heart and lung conditions.
Medicines may also prevent the clots from becoming larger and causing more serious problems.
They are often prescribed to prevent first or recurrent stroke.
Surgery of Heart Failure
Surgical Procedures Without Devices
Implantable Medical Devices
Surgical Procedures Without Devices - Heart valve surgery, coronary bypass surgery (CABG), and angioplasty may help some people with heart failure.
Implantable Medical Devices - The following devices may be recommended for certain patients with heart failure:
A pacemaker to help treat slow heart rates or other heart signaling problems.
A biventricular pacemaker to help the both sides of your heart contract at the same time; it is also called cardiac resynchronization therapy.
An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator that recognizes life-threatening, abnormal heart rhythms and sends an electrical pulse to stop them.
Other Treatment Options
Severe heart failure may require the following treatments when other therapies no longer work. They are often used when a person is waiting for a heart transplant:
Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)
Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
The patient will need to make some changes in his daily life to treat heart failure.
Eat less salt.
Be more active.
Stay at a healthy weight, or lose weight if you need to. Even a few pounds can make a difference.
Control blood pressure.
Advantages of Heart Failure Surgery and Treatment in India
Once the diagnosis of heart failure is established, a number of pharmacologic strategies are available to limit and reverse the manifestations of HF. In particular, mortality rates among patients with heart failure can be reduced drastically. Treatment increases survival and decreases repeat hospitalizations.
Risks and Side Effects Associated with Heart Failure Surgery and Treatment
Possible side effects of medications include cough, gastrointestinal upset (such as nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea), headache, light-headedness and fainting, low blood pressure, muscle cramps. Possible Complications could be pulmonary edema and total heart failure (circulatory collapse)
Heart Failure Surgery and Treatment in India
The doctors and researchers in India have actively contributed in developing new ways to diagnose and treat people who have heart failure. Each year doctors internationally trained in heart care (cardiologists) evaluate and treat thousands of people who have congestive heart failure. Cardiologists and other specialist staff heart failure clinics in India work together as a team to diagnose and treat all forms of congestive heart failure. The advanced facility in most of the hospitals is devoted specifically to surgical advanced heart failure treatment.
Cities in India offering Treatment and Surgery for Heart Failure at some of the finest cardiac hospital in India are as follows
Cost of Heart Failure Surgery and Treatment in India
Most hospitals in India offer programmes involving individualized multidisciplinary post-discharge healthcare, with a major focus on specialist nurse management to ensure that the patient receives optimal treatment, are clinically and economically effective in reducing the typical burden imposed by Heart Failure. These programmes appear to be most effective in 'high-risk' patients who typically have recurrent readmissions in high-cost units.
Some of the common countries from which patients travel to India for surgery are:
Located in South Asia, bordered by Pakistan, Nepal, China and Bangladesh, India is South Asia's largest, sovereign, democratic republic. India has an edge over other countries when it comes to offering comprehensive, cost-effective and timely medical care: it also offers an exotic, adventure-filled or cultural -if you wish array of destinations to discover and revel in for the travelers. Indian cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa, Bangalore, Nagpur, Kerala, Delhi, Pune, Jaipur, Chennai, Gurgaon, and Chandigarh offers best medical tourism service.
Mumbai - Formerly known as Bombay, is the commercial & financial capital city of India. Mumbai is famous for many things, including its thriving Bollywood film industry, teeming bazaars, colonial-style buildings, Art Deco structures and a superb choice of restaurants, often being rated as the dining capital of India. The tourist district of Colaba in Mumbai is a great place to start exploring this great city.
Hyderabad – Hyderabad city is a great place to visit in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The place has witnessed a continuous growth for last many years. Hyderabad has become a tourist hotspot following ever increasing number of tourists during past few years. Hyderabad has a well-founded reputation as one of the safest cities in the world.
Goa - The country's smallest state and famed for its colonial Portuguese and Catholic past, most tourists visit Goa for its endless selection of sandy beaches and coastal attractions. Standing proudly next to the Arabian Sea, Goa is a particularly compact state and often feels like a large town, being easy to travel. Around Goa, tourists will soon realize that the state has much more to offer than simply stunning beaches, fishing, water scooters, windsurfing and scuba diving.
Bangalore - Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder and if you want to see one of the most beautiful places in India then Bangalore is the word for it. Bangalore has earned sobriquets like 'Silicon Valley of India', 'Pub Capital of India', and 'City of Gardens'. Pleasant climate with colorful gardens with lakes and glittering nightlife, Bangalore has made its own attraction for travelers as one of the most charming cities in India,
Nagpur - Nagpur is the largest city in central India, but with its friendly atmosphere and dependable transportation, you’ll instantly feel at home. The city of Nagpur has a well-built infrastructure, is a clean and affluent city which makes a good jumping-off point for a series of trips into the far eastern corner of Maharashtra..
Kerala - Welcome to Kerala, state in India's southern tip and a state known as God's Own Country. Kerala is one of the ten 'Paradises Found' by the National Geographic Traveler, for its diverse geography and overwhelming greenery. It is a land much acclaimed for the contemporary nature of its cultural ethos, and much appreciated for the soothing, rejuvenating paradise that it is.
Delhi - Delhi, the capital of India is situated in the northern part of the country. Apart from being the capital of India, Delhi is also the travel hub of northern India. It serves as an excellent base for visiting the colorful state of Rajasthan, and Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, is less than three hours away. Discover the many tales behind Delhi’s ancient, bewitching existence. Feel the excitement of stepping foot on a piece of the world’s oldest land!
Pune - Pune is the eighth largest city in the India state of Maharashtra. The city derives its name from Punya Nagari, which means 'the city of virtuous deeds.'Pune or the 'Queen of Deccan' is known for its educational, research and development institutions. This beautiful city has many exotic locales attracting innumerable tourists.
Jaipur – Jaipur is located in India and attracts a flurry of tourists from all over the world. Sited within eastern Rajasthan, North India, the city of Jaipur is famed for its hilltop fortresses, magnificent royal palaces and historic pink-painted sandstone architecture, earning it the affectionate nickname of the 'Pink City'.
Chennai - Chennai formerly known as Madras is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its culture and tradition. Chennai hosts a large cultural event, which includes performances by hundreds of artists. The city has a vibrant theatre scene and is an important centre for the Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form.
Gurgaon – It is one of the four important satellite cities of the National Capital Region and is often referred to as the 'Millennium City.' Gurgaon has recently emerged as the latest hub for Medical Tourism. Apart from being IT hub and a favorite haunt for MNC offices, the city has a number of world class hospitals that not only treat Indian citizens but also people from outside.
Chandigarh - Chandigarh is a rare epitome of modernization co-existing with nature's preservation. It is here that the trees and plants are as much a part of the construction plans as the buildings and the roads. India’s first planned city, Chandigarh is a rich, prosperous, spic and span, green city rightly called “THE CITY BEAUTIFUL”.
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