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Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart weakens and can’t pump enough blood throughout the body.

It doesn’t mean your heart has stopped working or is about to stop working, but it is a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.

Congestive heart failure can result from a variety of conditions that damage your heart, including the following:

Congestive heart failure: what you should know

  • Symptoms of congestive heart failure include the following:
  • Unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, eating foods high in fat and sodium, and not getting enough physical activity can increase your risk of developing congestive heart failure.
  • Congestive heart failure can often be controlled if it’s managed properly.

Care for congestive heart failure at Rush

If congestive heart failure is suspected, experts at Rush will draw on their many years of experience to find the root of your problem. We welcome patients seeking second opinions.

If you are diagnosed with congestive heart failure, treatment can help you lead a longer and more active life. You may need one or more of these treatments:

  • Changes to your diet
  • Beta blockers, which are medications used to slow down the heart rate, reducing the heart’s need for oxygen and improving the supply of blood to the heart
  • Other medications, such as diuretics and ACE inhibitors to reduce the heart’s workload
  • Angioplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to increase blood flow to the heart when needed
  • Bypass surgery to create a new path for blood and oxygen to get to your heart
  • Implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) for patients with or at risk for unstable rhythms

Other therapies for congestive heart failure are often available through clinical trials, such as stem cell therapy using the patient's own stem cells or stem cells from a donor.

Your cardiologist will discuss your options and see if you are eligible for a trial.

Why choose Rush for congestive heart failure care

  • Rush’s heart program is consistently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Heart specialists at Rush are engaged in research on congestive heart failure, leading to a better understanding of the complexities of its care.

Departments and Programs That Treat This Condition