We use cutting edge technology and techniques used by an experienced team of cardiologists. We can diagnose cardiovascular medical conditions and help you overcome them.
Congestive Heart Failure FAQ
What’s Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive heart failure is a condition that leads to the stiffening or weakening of the heart muscles. This will make it difficult for the heart to keep pumping enough blood throughout the body. When this happens, fluid can build up within the body, which can also overwork the kidneys. There are a number of conditions that can lead to congestive heart failure, such as hypertension, irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia, damaged heart muscles or cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart defect, or narrowing arteries.
The Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek out a medical evaluation:
- Abdominal Swelling
- Shortness of Breath
- Swollen Feet, Ankles, or Legs
- Irregular or Fast Heartbeat
- Increased Frequency for Urinating
- Couching up Pink Mucus
- Constant Wheezing
- Chest Pain
- Reduced Appetite
- Fluid Retention Leading to Weight Gain
Diagnosing Congenital Heart Disease
Through the use of state-the-art technology and years of experience, our superb doctors can help diagnose the underlying cause and then determine the best treatment for each patient. The tests we use include:
- Electrocardiogram or EKG. This is a simple non-invasive procedure that is used to interpret the electrical activity of your heart. It uses electrodes that are placed on the legs, chest, and arms. Every heartbeat is coupled with an electrical signal that scans the top of the heart to the bottom. When this electrical signal travels, it will cause the heart to contract and then pump blood. The recording from an EKG test can give a lot of information to your doctor such as: how your heart is working, heart rate, size of the chambers, position of the chamber, heartbeat regularity, and any damage that has occurred to the heart. This test can be used to determine the effectiveness of certain devices or medications used to help regulate your heart.
- Holter Monitor is an ambulatory electrocardiography device. This piece of sophisticated equipment is used to monitor any electrical activity within the cardiovascular system over 12 to 48 hours. This recording lasts a long time in order to observe intermittent cardiac arrhythmias that can be difficult to find with an electrocardiogram. It can also be used to record abnormalities that only happen during activities such as sleeping or physical activities. Problems with the rhythm or rate of the heartbeat are an arrhythmia.
- Echocardiogram. This procedure uses sound waves or echoes to create an image of your heart. It can determine tissue damage, location, shape, size, and pump capacity.
- Stress test. This test is done to determine how your heart performs under various levels of stress. When your heart is working harder, it will give your doctor an easier time to diagnose issues. We provide heart stimulation through a number of methods such as using a treadmill or by injecting intravenous vasodilators. However, we only inject this drug when a patient is unable to exercise or use a treadmill, which is called a pharmacologic stress test.
- Cardiac catheterization. A cardiac catheterization means inserting a flexible, long, and thin tube into a blood vessel located in the groin or arm and then passed up through to the neck. This procedure provides doctors the ability to do numerous procedures on the heart, such as angioplasty. In the usual coronary angiography, doctors will use a contrast dye in order to observe how blood flows to make the arteries visible using x-ray. This procedure can be used to find coronary heart disease, which is a condition where plaque accumulates inside coronary arteries, which can lead to blockages and narrowing.