Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
If you are one of the five million Americans with congestive heart failure (CHF), you know how debilitating and frightening it is to live with a weak heart.
Heart failure occurs when the heart fails to pump an adequate supply of blood to the body. The kidneys sense a decreased cardiac output and compensate by increasing salt and water retention, which leads to congestion in the lungs.
As the condition progresses, your heart muscle weakens even further, or stiffens, often becoming enlarged as it is forced to work harder to supply blood to the body. This leads to fatigue, shortness of breath, ankle swelling, palpitations and decreased exercise capacity.
Under these conditions, your heart can develop ventricular arrhythmias, further reducing heart output and aggravating your symptoms.
A weakened heart can be treated with medications or sophisticated pacing therapies such as cardiac resynchronization therapy with an implanted defibrillator.
No condition requires a closer partnership between the patient and his/her physician after discharge from the hospital. Heart failure is the leading cause of hospital readmission following successful treatment, yet readmission can be prevented with close doctor/patient disease management.
Heart failure patients have access to the Care Transitions Team for Heart Failure provided by Sutter Care at Home. This partnership was formed to give patients tools and support to manage heart failure at home once they are discharged from the hospital.
While there may be no cure for congestive heart failure, it is possible to return to an active and fulfilling life. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center offers patients the latest in cutting-edge treatment options that not only alleviate symptoms but also help strengthen the heart and slow or reverse the progression of disease.
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Use our online Find a Doctor tool to find a heart specialist in the San Francisco East Bay area who can determine the best diagnostic and treatment options for your unique needs.
About the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence
At Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, our heart specialists deliver compassionate patient care using leading-edge procedures, to patients living throughout the San Francisco East Bay area. While our cardiac services are located in Berkeley and Oakland, patients come to our heart center from Hayward, Pleasanton, Lafayette, and other East Bay communities as well as from greater California and the United States to seek the best cardiac hospital care available. Our experienced team of top heart and cardiovascular specialists strive to work with each patient to identify the best treatment options for heart and vascular conditions. Whether you need a top heart surgeon (or specialist), a cardiac specialist, a vascular or thoracic surgeon, or one of our best-in-class cardiothoracic specialists - our doctors, nurses and technologists will work with you to strive for the best cardiovascular care for your unique needs. We strive to be the best cardiac hospital not just in the San Francisco East Bay but for every patient who enters our heart center, whether they come from Oakland, Berkeley, or beyond the Bay Area.
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