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If lifestyle changes or medications are not effective in controlling your heart failure,
surgery may be necessary.
Nearly 50-percent of people with heart failure have defects in their heart’s ability to
maintain a normal rhythm of beats. Two devices are used to help the heart maintain a normal
rhythm. * An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
or I-C-D is a device that monitors heart rhythm. If your heart develops an abnormal rhythm
or stops beating, the ICD kicks in to help return it to a normal rhythm.
* A pacemaker can help coordinate the pumping of your heart by sending a small electrical
signal to the heart muscle and is often used along with an ICD.
Surgery can both prevent further damage to the heart and improve its function.
* If you have a narrow or blocked artery, a doctor may perform angioplasty to open the
artery and improve blood flow to the heart. * If you have a blockage that cannot be treated
with angioplasty, your doctor may recommend coronary bypass surgery, which reroutes blood
around the clogged artery. * If a defective valve is the cause of your
heart failure, your doctor may be able to repair it or replace it.
For more advanced heart failure, your doctor may use a device to help your heart perform
its daily work. * Doctors may implant a pump called a left
ventricular assist device or L-V-A-D in the abdomen or chest and connect it to the heart.
This device may be used in people who are waiting for a heart transplant or for those
who are not eligible for a transplant. * An intra-aortic balloon pump, or I-A-B-P,
is a device that is implanted and helps reduce the hearts demand for oxygen while increasing
the amount of blood it pumps to the rest of the body.
These devices are reserved for severe heart failure. If the heart fails beyond repair
or a patient becomes dependent on devices for support, their doctor may consider a heart
Today, according to the American Heart Association, there are more than 6 million Americans who
are living with heart failure, and hundreds of thousands new patients are diagnosed each
It’s never too late to take control of your condition. Even a small change in your daily
habits can make a big difference. Work with your doctor, and seek support – from family
or a even good friend – and you can manage the condition as a team. Thanks for being
a part of HealthiNation. Be sure to watch other segments and get talking about your
health. Does this description make sense? Somewhat….(CK)