Treatment of Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition resulting from loss of contractile function of the heart muscle. Patients suffering from heart failure complain of shortness of breath, cough, swelling of the feet and weakness. While these complaints are very mild in the initial stages, in the following periods the patient cannot lie flat due to shortness of breath. Hypertension, cardiovascular (coronary) disease are the most common causes of heart failure. Also, heart failure can occur in direct diseases of the heart muscle. In the last decade, great progress has been made with drugs used in the treatment of heart failure.

Thanks to the drugs, both the complaints were reduced and the deaths due to heart failure decreased. But after a point, drugs don’t help. Despite the drugs, the patients complain of shortness of breath, especially. With the non-drug treatments that have emerged in recent years, these patients can be helped more. One of the non-drug treatments used in heart failure is pacemakers. Especially in a group of patients, it has been shown that with three-electrode batteries (bivetricular) implanted, complaints are reduced and life expectancy is prolonged. Some selected patients (a physician’s opinion on who will benefit and how much) will benefit greatly from this method, which is called cardiac resynchronization therapy. Another treatment option is the method called EECP. In this method, pressure is applied to these areas simultaneously with the heartbeats by means of air bags wrapped around the legs and hips. At the end of an average of 35 sessions of one hour, most of the patients’ complaints decrease.

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