Heart failure (HF) occurs when the heart becomes a less effective pump. The left ventricle, and less often, the right ventricle, become unable to pump efficiently or able to accept blood returned from the lungs and thus trigger the signs and symptoms of HF. Some of these symptoms are: shortness of breath, fatigue and ankle or abdominal swelling.
Any disease that affects the heart muscle can cause HF. Most commonly, coronary artery disease is to blame. Scar tissue resulting from a past heart attack can prevent the muscle from working properly and can trigger this disorder (HF). Other risk factors include hypertension, congenital defects (defects present in the heart at birth), valve disorders and infections of the heart (endocarditis or myocarditis).
The key to successfully treating heart failure is to diagnose the condition in its earliest stages and manage it aggressively to prevent symptoms from worsening. Mission Hospital Heart Center specialists offer patients the most innovative medical and surgical treatments available for heart failure.