Heart failure is a serious condition that means the heart is failing to pump blood around the body at the correct pressure level, caused by the heart muscle becoming too weak. There are different types of heart failure that a patient could suffer from, caused by different areas of the heart muscle itself. Heart failure could also be caused by a condition, such as coronary heart disease, or the result of a previous condition, for example being weak after experiencing a heart attack.
Symptoms of heart failure can include becoming very tired, weak, and breathless, even while resting. It can also include swelling to occur in the feet and legs. It is important to be checked if you have any suspicions, as heart failure can result in sudden death.
Your consultant will diagnose heart failure, and discuss with you all the options for treatment and management of the condition. Medication will be prescribed, and severe cases may require surgery or a pacemaker. There may also be lifestyle changes that you could make to successfully manage the condition, such as stopping smoking or avoiding drinking alcohol.
Heart failure is a lifelong condition which requires constant treatment and management. It may take you some time to recover, should you require surgery or a pacemaker, and you will still require monitoring. Before you return home, your consultant will provide you with information and advice to continue your recovery and ensure your heart works as well as possible, for as long as possible.
Heart failure is a life threatening condition and may result in sudden death. There are various medications that may be prescribed for you, and each comes with their own risk of side effects. As with all surgical procedures, there is a small risk of infection and bleeding. Operating on the heart is always very complex, and, though it can dramatically improve the life of some patients, the procedures also come with their own risks. Your consultant will discuss these with you and answer any questions you may have.