HealthBreak | Congestive Heart Failure

July 3, 2018
Congestive Heart Failure is the largest diagnosis for people aged 65 and older. "The heart muscle weakens, usually as the result of some sort of damage to the heart - whether it's a heart attack, high blood pressure, chemotherapy - anything that can injure the heart," explains Brad Berry, MD, of the International Heart Institute of Montana. "Eventually, as the heart tries to compensate and make up for the injury, it becomes weaker and weaker with time. That's when we develop into congestive heart failure." The front-line treatments for congestive heart failure are medications, but other treatments may be necessary. "If we suspect blocked arteries are the cause of heart failure, correcting those may come down to having a stent, going to the Cath Lab, and sometimes, bypass surgery," says Dr. Berry. "If there are valvular causes of heart failure, treatment may be more advanced, such as repairing or replacing heart valves. If the heart muscle is quite weak, options include implantable pacemakers and defibrillators." "Congestive heart failure is a treatable disease," Dr. Berry concludes. "We can help patients live longer, and better lives." To learn more, visit http://www.ihimontana.org
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