Heart failure may be related to coronary artery disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, heart valve diseases, scar tissue from a heart attack, or an infection affecting the heart valves or heart. Heart failure must be treated by a specialist, or it will continue to advance, causing damage to your organs. At San Diego Cardiac Center, we develop customized heart failure programs to help our patients manage heart failure and experience the best possible quality of life.

Customized heart failure programs in San Diego

The first step in establishing your heart failure program is a full understanding of the form of heart failure you are living with. The three main types are:

  • Left ventricular heart failure: If your heart is unable to pump all the blood it collects, fluid can back up into your lungs. This is caused by a dysfunction of the left ventricle, one of the two lower chambers, which pumps blood to provide oxygen to the rest of the body.
  • Right ventricle heart failure: When the right ventricle, one of the lower two heart chambers, cannot pump blood correctly, the blood backs up in your veins. 
  • Congestive heart failure: The blood flow slows to the point where fluid collects in your veins and around the heart, leading to excess fluid building up in your body tissues.

Your heart failure program will reflect the severity of your condition and how far it has progressed.

Diagnostic testing for heart failure patients in San Diego

Our specialists may run a series of tests to identify the problems with your heart. These tests may include:

  • Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray reveals the size of your heart, along with the condition of your lungs.
  • Echocardiogram: An ultrasound test in which sound energy creates images of your heart to detect the problems.
  • Nuclear scan: This test involves injecting a radioactive substance into your vein that helps reveal how your heart is pumping the blood.
  • Cardiac catheterization: A test in which a catheter (thin, flexible tube) is inserted into an artery, a medical dye injected to make it possible to see how the blood is moving through your arteries, and whether there is a narrowed or blocked area.

Developing your heart failure program

Your heart failure program will move through several critical steps:

  • The cause of your heart failure must be identified through various advanced diagnostic tests.
  • The symptoms you are living with will be treated to help improve your condition.
  • The goal is to improve your quality of life and longevity by slowing the progression of heart failure.

Your heart failure treatment program

Our heart specialist will establish an individual treatment program to help reduce your symptoms. The program could include several treatments such as improved lifestyle and medications, including:

  • Dietary changes
  • Modified physical activities
  • ACE inhibitors (Relaxes your veins to lower blood pressure)
  • Beta-blockers (reduces adrenaline to slow your heartbeat and reduce its force to lower blood pressure)
  • Digitalis (stimulates the heart muscle)
  • Diuretics (“water pills” that help the kidneys and tissues shed excess water and salt, making it easier for the heart to pump blood
  • Vasodilators (blood vessel dilators to increase blood flow)

Implantable devices

Your condition may be significantly improved with an implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker or cardioverter device. These devices can treat a slow or fast heartbeat.

San Diego Cardiac Center: Your heart failure experts

Our team of heart specialists at San Diego Cardiac Center provides cutting-edge, less invasive treatments and develops custom heart failure programs to prolong life, enhance heart health, and improve your quality of life. We are frequently engaged in clinical research and can offer treatments that are not available at any other clinic in the San Diego area. Our heart specialists stay ahead of the curve in the latest developments in treatments for heart failure and are kind, compassionate, and dedicated to developing a program that improves your quality of life.

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