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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.

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Heart failure program in Virginia

Our heart failure specialists help you manage and thrive in your condition.

While heart failure is not completely curable, the cardiac teams in the HCA Virginia Health System give you the tools to prevent further damage and lead a full and enjoyable life. From medication and surgery to rehabilitation and education, we are here for you.

How healthy is your heart?

Understanding your heart health is a valuable preventive care tool. Take our free assessment to determine your risk of heart disease and what you can do about it.

Understanding your heart health is a valuable preventive care tool. Take our free assessment to determine your risk of heart disease and what you can do about it.

Heart failure symptoms

Your condition is unique to you and that's how we treat it. Heart failure symptoms can vary, but typical signs to watch out for include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cough
  • Hindered activity
  • Pain in the chest
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Swelling in the lower body

Heart failure services we provide

From diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation, we want to provide you with the best options to effectively manage your heart failure. Whether your condition requires surgery or it can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes, our team of specialists can offer you numerous health benefits and trusted care.

Heart failure risks

Because heart failure can worsen over time, our cardiologists are aggressive in treating it as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening. Knowing if you are at risk can help us accomplish that. Your risk of heart failure may be higher if you have any of these conditions:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Lung disease
  • Obesity
  • Previous heart attack
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sleep apnea

Screening for heart failure

Heart failure is a progressive condition. Our heart care teams emphasize the importance of early detection, as you may require symptom management throughout your lifetime. If you identify with any of the symptoms above or if you have risk factors for heart disease, we recommend you undergo diagnostic heart testing to determine if heart failure is present. Our diagnostic testing includes:

  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Chest X-rays
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Treatment for heart failure

Your heart failure treatment plan will depend on how far your condition has advanced. However, lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet will always be central components of effectively managing heart failure. If needed, your cardiologist may also add dietary counseling and medication to your treatment plan. No matter the severity, we will always primarily address the underlying causes of your condition and provide appropriate treatments and procedures.

Cardiac surgery

If you're experiencing advanced heart failure, you may need surgical treatment. Our highly trained surgeons favor minimally invasive procedures and use a variety of techniques, including regulating heart rhythms via implanting devices such as implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD). Some of the surgical procedures we offer include:

  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • ICD implantation
  • Pacemaker implantation

For some, clinical trials may also be useful. Talk to your doctor about the clinical trials in our network of hospitals to find out if they may be right for you.

Living with heart failure

We will work closely with you and your referring doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan. The goal of heart failure treatment is to strengthen your heart muscle, improve your general health and avoid hospitalization. This means that you may require physical therapy and rehabilitation before or after your treatment. For such cases, our hospitals offer cardiovascular rehabilitation, a program specially designed to meet the needs of heart patients like you so that you can fully recover.

Levinson Heart Institute

Since opening in 2003, Levinson Heart Institute at Chippenham Hospital has been recognized as the first heart hospital in Virginia. For more than a decade, our team has worked to compassionately treat issues with the complex cardiovascular system. One of our specialties is our left ventricular assist device (LVAD) program. In this program, our cardiothoracic surgeons implant a pump into the bottom left chamber of the heart (left ventricle) which pumps blood to the aorta. LVAD procedures may minimize the need for heart transplant surgery or help extend the quality of life for end-stage heart failure patients.

Care Assure program

If you have heart failure, our care for you doesn’t end when you are discharged from our hospitals. Through our Care Assure program, we follow up with you to make sure you receive the care you need following your hospital visits. Our goal is to help you successfully manage your heart condition and its symptoms as you transition out of the hospital.

Looking for another location?

We also offer quality care at these other locations in our extended network.
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The Healthy Living Blog

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