Heart Failure (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
People who have heart failure may have surgery to:
For more information on bypass surgery and angioplasty, see the topic Coronary Artery Disease.
If you have heart failure, you may get a device to fix a deadly heart rhythm or to help your heart pump better.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) uses a biventricular pacemaker which makes the heart's lower chambers (ventricles) pump in the right order. This type of pacemaker can help you feel better so you can be more active. It also can help keep you out of the hospital and help you live longer. For more information on pacemakers, see:
If you get a pacemaker, you have to be careful not to get too close to some devices with strong magnetic or electrical fields. These include MRI machines, battery-powered cordless power tools, and CB or ham radios. But most everyday appliances are safe. For more information, see:
A pacemaker may be used alone or along with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) for heart failure.
Implantable defibrillators (ICDs)
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can prevent sudden death from an abnormal heart rhythm and may help you live longer. An ICD checks the heart for very fast and deadly heart rhythms. If the heart goes into one of these rhythms, the ICD shocks it to stop the deadly rhythm and returns the heart to a normal rhythm. For more information, see:
If you get an ICD, you have to be careful not to get too close to some devices with strong magnetic or electrical fields. These include MRI machines, battery-powered cordless power tools, and CB or ham radios. But most everyday appliances are safe. For more information, see:
An ICD may be used alone or along with a pacemaker for heart failure.
Ventricular assist devices (VADs)
Ventricular assist devices (VADs), also known as heart pumps, may be placed into the chest to help the heart pump more blood. VADs can keep people alive until a donor heart is available for transplant. In some cases, VADs may also be used as an alternative to heart transplant for long-term treatment. VADs are used in people who have severe heart failure.
In some cases you might have:
Talk to your doctor before you take any over-the-counter medicine or supplement. There's no strong evidence that vitamins or other supplements can help treat heart failure. They are used along with medical heart failure treatments, not instead of treatment.
But you may still hear about supplements that might improve heart failure symptoms. But no supplement has been shown definitely to relieve heart failure or help you live longer.
Examples include coenzyme Q10, fish oil, and hawthorn.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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