Common diseases & risk factors

Heart failure (cardiac insufficiency)

How Avi Medical helps you with heart failure

More than ten percent of all people over the age of sixty suffer from heart failure in the course of their lives. Those affected often struggle with the consequences for a long time. After all, if left untreated, the disease can lead to a number of serious complications such as cardiac arrhythmias, kidney damage or strokes. With a comprehensive therapy, however, you can avoid this unfavourable prognosis - our experienced doctors will accompany you at all our locations.

What is heart failure?

The clinical picture of heart failure describes an age-related reduced pumping function of the heart. The consequences: Other organs such as the kidneys or stomach can no longer be supplied with sufficient blood and are thus impaired in their work.

In addition, blood gradually accumulates in your body - for example in the veins or lungs. If this condition remains unchanged, the liquid parts of the blood eventually get into the surrounding tissue. This is how sometimes painful oedemas develop, such as water retention in the legs due to gravity.

At what point is it heart failure?

Heart failure is diagnosed by an ultrasound-detectable enlargement of the heart muscle. The diseased organ tries to compensate for its reduced pumping capacity. Depending on which chamber of the heart is affected, a diagnosis is referred to as left, right or global insufficiency. Heart failure is further divided into different stages, which are measured according to the frequency of your complaints (i.e. do they already occur at rest or only during exertion).  

What are the triggers of heart failure?

The development of heart failure can be triggered by a variety of other medical conditions. These include:  

  • A poor ability of the heart to tense (for example, due to an inflammation of the heart muscle or a heart attack).
  • Heart valve defects (valves that are too rigid or leak)  
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

What are the possible symptoms of heart failure? 

You can recognise heart failure by the following typical symptoms:

  • Reduced physical resilience
  • Urinary urgency at night (due to water retention in the tissues, which is excreted by the kidneys at night).
  • Strong heart palpitations up to cardiac arrhythmia

Left heart failure is also characterised by the following specific symptoms:

  • cognitive impairments
  • Kidney damage
  • Difficult or accelerated breathing (due to fluid accumulation in the lungs).
  • Paleness
  • Coughing fits

Right heart failure is conspicuous by the following particular symptoms:

  • Leg oedema
  • Liver damage
  • Stomach damage

Good to know: In most cases, the clinical picture of heart failure combines symptoms from both sides of the heart.  

The treatment of heart failure at Avi Medical

For us at Avi Medical, the successful treatment of your heart failure is a combination of two components. These are: Avoiding risk factors and targeted therapy for your underlying condition.

Specifically, this includes:

  • Long-term measures to lower blood pressure (through lifestyle change counselling or medication).
  • Diagnostics of any existing heart valve defects including referral with the aim of surgical therapy
  • the prevention or treatment of existing arteriosclerosis
  • Special vaccinations (pneumococcus, influenza)
  • In case your heart failure is already very advanced: referral to hospital with the aim of invasive therapies (pacemaker, bypass or heart transplant).