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Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's blood and oxygen demands. When this occurs, blood frequently backs up and fluid can accumulate in the lungs, causing shortness of breath.

Symptoms of heart failure:

  • Signs and symptoms of heart failure may include:
  • Shortness of breath during physical activity or when lying down
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Legs, ankles, and feet swelling
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Exercise capacity has been reduced.
  • Coughing or wheezing that is persistent, with white or pink bloody mucus
  • Swelling of the abdomen 
  • Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
  • loss of appetite and Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating or a loss of alertness
  • If heart failure is caused by a heart attack, you may experience chest pain.

Causes and Risk factors of Heart Failure:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart valve disease
  • High blood pressure.
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Congenital heart disease( Heart defects from birth)
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking or using tobacco
  • Obesity
  • Genetic heart diseases
  • Reactions due to allergies
  • Any disease that affects the entire body
  • Clots of blood in the lungs
  • Infections that are severe
  • Taking certain medications

Heart Failure Types:

  • Left-sided heart failure - Causes fluid to build up in the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath.
  • Right-sided heart failure- Swelling can result from fluid backing up into the abdomen, legs, and feet.
  • Systolic heart failure - The heart does not pump efficiently and does not contract properly between heartbeats.
  • Diastolic heart failure - Technically known as "heart failure with preserved ejection fraction," is a condition in which the lower left chamber of the heart (left ventricle) is unable to fill properly with blood during the diastolic phase, resulting in a reduction in the amount of blood pumped out to the body.

Diagnosis for Heart Failure:

  • Examinations of the blood
  • Chest-X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) 
  • The stress test
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan of the heart
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 
  • Coronary angiography 
  • Biopsy 

Prevention of Heart Failure:

The key to avoiding heart failure is to lower your risk factors. Many of the risk factors for heart disease can be reduced or eliminated by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking the medications prescribed by your doctor.

You can help prevent heart failure by making the following lifestyle changes:

  • Say no to smoking
  • Controlling certain conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes
  • Maintaining physical activity
  • Consuming nutritious foods
  • Keeping a healthy weight
  • Managing and reducing stress level

Heart Failure Treatment:

  • Medication - Heart failure is typically treated with a combination of medications. You may need to take one or more medications to treat underlying diseases
  • Coronary bypass surgery – If your heart failure is caused by severely blocked arteries, your doctor may recommend coronary artery bypass surgery. A healthy blood vessel from your leg, arm, or chest is taken and connected below and above the blocked arteries in your heart. The new pathway increases blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Repair or replacement of a heart valve- If a faulty heart valve is causing your heart failure, your doctor may advise you to repair or replace the valve. Surgeons can repair the valve by reattaching valve flaps or removing excess valve tissue, allowing the leaflets to close tightly. Repairing the valve may include tightening or replacing the ring that surrounds the valve.
    Heart valve repair or replacement can be performed as open-heart surgery, minimally invasive surgery, or as a heart procedure utilising flexible tubes known as catheters (cardiac catheterization).
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) - An ICD is used to prevent complications from heart failure. It is not a treatment for heart failure. An ICD, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, is a device similar to a pacemaker. It is implanted beneath your skin in your chest, with wires leading through your veins and into your heart.
    The ICD monitors the heart rhythm. If your heart begins to beat at a dangerous rhythm or if it stops, the ICD attempts to pace or shock it back into normal rhythm. An ICD can also act as a pacemaker, increasing the rate of your heart if it is too slow.
  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) - This therapy assists the heart chambers in pumping blood efficiently and uniformly.
  • Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) - Ventricular assist devices (VADs) can be implanted in the abdomen and linked to the heart to keep blood pumping and flowing through the body tissues. It is especially beneficial in improving survival and quality of life in patients awaiting a heart transplant and/or those with end-stage heart failure who are not transplant candidates.
  • A heart transplant is performed - Some people have such severe heart failure that surgery or medications are ineffective. These people may need to have their hearts replaced with a healthy donor heart.

A heart transplant is not the best treatment for everyone. A team of doctors at a transplant centre will evaluate you to see if the procedure is safe and beneficial for you.

Aakash Healthcare is one of Delhi's best heart centres. Heart defects, congenital heart disease, pulmonary heart failure, and coronary artery diseases are among the conditions we treat.

The Institute is a one-stop destination for chronic heart failure treatment and surgical management of diseases of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, with a dedicated team of world-class experts and state-of-the-art operation theatres, catheterization labs, and other cardiac care technologies.  If you are living in Delhi and looking for best option for congestive heart failure surgery, or acute heart failure treatment, book an appointment today and consult the best clinicians of Delhi.

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