Congestive Heart Failure Specialist

Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance Primary Care

General Internal Medicine located in Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY

Congestive heart failure is responsible for over 11 million physician visits annually and more hospitalizations than all types of cancer combined. At Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance Primary Care in the Downtown Brooklyn area of Brooklyn in New York City, Ahmar Butt, MD, Lalasa Valasareddi, MD, and the team diagnose and treat patients at risk for heart failure. Call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.

Congestive Heart Failure Q&A

What is congestive heart failure?

Heart failure occurs when the main pumping chambers of your heart, called the ventricles, don’t fill properly in between beats. The heart becomes unable to keep up with your body’s demands and doesn’t pump blood efficiently throughout your body. 

Heart failure may involve the left ventricle, right ventricle, or both sides of your heart. For most people, congestive heart failure starts on the left side, which is your heart’s main pumping chamber.

What are the signs of congestive heart failure?

Heart failure may start suddenly or be an ongoing, chronic condition. The most common signs of congestive heart failure include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Persistent wheezing or cough
  • Irregular, rapid heartbeat
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Increased urine frequency at night
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite

If a heart attack causes your heart failure, you’ll experience chest pain. 

You should seek emergency treatment for chest pain, fainting, or irregular heartbeat associated with shortness of breath.

Am I at risk for congestive heart failure?

Heart failure affects people of all ages. There are nearly 5 million Americans living with congestive heart failure and about 550,000 new cases diagnosed annually. 

Some factors increase your risk of congestive heart failure, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Sleep apnea
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Viruses
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Irregular heartbeats

Having a heart attack also increases your risk of ongoing heart failure.

How is congestive heart failure treated?

Congestive heart failure requires lifelong treatment and management, which can help you live a longer life. Heart failure treatment involves a balance of medications and devices designed to help the heart function properly, such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators.

People with heart failure commonly take two or more medications, including nitrates for chest pain, blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk of blood clots, and a statin to lower cholesterol. The team at Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance may need to adjust your doses frequently, particularly when starting a new medication or if your symptoms worsen.

Sometimes heart failure is treated by correcting the underlying cause. Resetting a fast heart rhythm or repairing a heart valve through surgery can reverse heart failure in some patients.

For expert treatment of congestive heart failure, use the online booking tool or call Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance to schedule an appointment today.