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HCA Midwest Health

Heart failure

Heart failure is an indication that the heart is no longer working at its full potential. The heart is unable to pump blood as well as normal, which prevents the heart from receiving all the blood and oxygen it requires. Lifestyle changes and medication are popular treatment plans to combat heart failure.

Heart failure program in Kansas City

While heart failure can't be fully cured, it can be treated. We work to help you effectively manage your condition and maximize your quality of life.

Heart failure occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood throughout the body. When the condition leads to fluid buildup in the body, it's called congestive heart failure. At HCA Midwest Health, our highly trained heart failure specialists apply various treatments and medications to help combat these issues and salvage heart, liver and kidney function.

Health Risk Assessments

Answering a few questions can help you determine if you need to speak to your doctor.

Answering a few questions can help you determine if you need to speak to your doctor.

About our heart failure program

If left untreated, heart failure can limit how well you engage in daily activities. We work to help you lead the life you want and prevent further damage, providing tools, such as medication, surgery, rehabilitation and continuing education.

What causes heart failure?

It is critically important to always be vigilant about your cardiac health, as several precursors to heart disease can lead to heart failure. Conditions that are contributing factors include:

  • Damage to the heart muscle, due to diseases or infection
  • Heart abnormalities present since birth
  • Heart valve abnormalities
  • High blood pressure
  • Narrow or clogged arteries
  • Previous heart attacks
  • Use of alcohol and illegal drugs

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

There are many different symptoms of heart failure, and you may not experience all of them. Given the diverse nature of the condition, you may need to watch out for these warning signs:

  • Fatigue or feeling tired
  • Feeling weak, dizzy, or more tired after light activity
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Persistent dry, hacking cough, especially at night
  • Shortness of breath, especially when lying flat in bed
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs or abdomen
  • Waking up breathless
  • Weight gain from fluid buildup

Heart failure treatment

Heart failure is a serious condition that does not go away. However, with treatment and some lifestyle adjustments, you can control its symptoms.

Certain medications can help you live longer by improving the way your heart pumps over time. Others are taken to relieve symptoms. In some situations, our cardiologists may recommend surgical procedures as treatment. While surgery is typically not the preferred route, depending on the type and severity of your condition, it may become necessary. If so, heart failure surgery usually repairs or replaces diseased valves and congenital heart abnormalities.

Remote heart failure monitoring

Our Overland Park Regional Medical Center offers remote monitoring for heart failure, so we can help better manage your condition and help you avoid hospitalizations. A minimally invasive outpatient procedure, we are able to implant a small device, just larger than a paper clip, into your pulmonary artery to track heart pressure readings and fluid retention levels. Afterwards, you will send real-time data back to the facility each day, where a team member can review the information and either adjust medications or provide further heart failure management. The heart failure monitoring system enables proactive heart failure treatment to slow down the disease progression, and help keep you from being readmitted to the hospital.

Heart failure management

The contents and direction of your personalized treatment plan depend on you, your diet and your activity. We recommend the following care guidelines to manage your heart failure:

  • Activity — Avoid strenuous activities or exercise. Keep active, but plan rest times throughout the day. Talk with your doctor about an exercise program that works for you.
  • Diet — Limit salt to less than 2,000 milligrams per day.
  • Doctor's appointments — Follow up with your doctor within one week of discharge. At first, you may need to be seen frequently until you have adjusted to your medications and feel better.
  • Fluid — Keep fluid to two liters (66 ounces) or less per day, as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Medications — Take your medications as prescribed. Don't stop taking your medications without talking to your doctor. Call your doctor if you experience side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat or leg cramps.
  • Support — Share your concerns with people close to you, or your health care providers. Also, involve your family members in your treatment, as they can help you change your lifestyle and health habits.
  • Weight — Weigh yourself daily and keep a record of it. If you gain more than two pounds in one day, or five pounds in one week, call your doctor.

Other lifestyle changes you may need to account for for successful heart failure management include:

  • Don't use illegal drugs
  • Eliminate or reduce alcohol
  • Find ways to relieve stress
  • Keeping high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes under control
  • Losing weight if you're overweight
  • Receive the flu and pneumonia shots
  • Refrain from smoking

Understanding heart failure

Heart failure affects over six million Americans, with over 900,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Calculate your risk today by taking our free online health risk assessment.

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