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Heart Failure


Heart failure affects more than five million Americans. Heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently to the body’s other organs, resulting in those organs failing as well. This can lead to the development of some or all of the following symptoms: fatigue, swelling in the feet, ankles, or abdomen, shortness of breath, and/or cough. Those at risk include diabetic patients, patients with high blood pressure, and patients with a history of heart attack.

Chronic Heart Failure

Chronic Heart failure occurs when then heart’s pumping power is weaker than normal. Since an inadequate amount of blood is being pumped through the heart and body, your heart has to work harder. As a result, the heart becomes dilated in order to hold more blood or the chambers become stiff. This allows the heart to compensate in the short term, but in time, the heart simply can’t keep up. Heart failure can be caused by heart valve disease, a heart attack, diseases that directly affect the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), or certain conditions that overwork the heart, including high blood pressure (hypertension), kidney disease or valve disease. Symptoms can include congested lungs, fluid and water retention, weight gain (from the retention of water), bloating in the stomach, loss of appetite or nausea, swollen ankles or legs, dizziness, fatigue or weakness and rapid or irregular heartbeats. 

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy is when your heart’s main pumping chamber (the left ventricle) becomes enlarged and can’t pump blood to your body as well as it should. It is a common cause of heart failure, since the heart can’t pump enough blood to supply the body’s tissues and organs. Left untreated, dilated cardiomyopathy can lead to death. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, even when you’re just lying down, reduced ability to exercise, persistent coughing or wheezing, lightheadedness, dizziness or feeling faint, swelling of the legs, ankles and feet, sudden weight gain, difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness and palpitations of the heart.

Heart Transplant - Florida Hospital Transplant Institute  

In 2008, Florida Hospital was awarded a Certificate of Need by the State of Florida to establish a heart transplantation program to serve the Central Florida community. Florida Hospital has more than 35 years of experience in bone marrow and organ transplantation with excellent clinical outcomes. Heart (and lung) transplantation is a natural outgrowth of that experience. The Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute works closely with the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute to provide heart transplantation services. To learn more about the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute and their team, click here. When a heart transplant is performed, it does not guarantee success. The heart can still fail, largely because the body’s immune system is designed to defend against foreign bodies, which can include a transplanted heart. The median survival rate for heart transplant is 15 years and the 5 year survival rate is 69%.

Locations for Heart Failure