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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Surgery

Read more about Surgery.

Overview

There are three major surgeries that are common treatments for patients with congestive heart failure:

  • Heart Valve Replacement: Heart valves regulate the flow of blood inside the heart. If the valves are damaged or defective, heart valve surgery may be recommended.
  • Heart Transplant: When a heart is damaged to the point that no other therapies work and a patient is at risk of dying, a heart transplant may be considered. This is reserved for the most severe cases of congestive heart failure. There are number of conditions that may limit a patient’s ability to receive a heart transplant.

Effect of Surgery on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Surgeries can help treat congestive heart failure in a few different ways:

  • Coronary Artery Bypass: If coronary artery disease (CAD) is the cause of congestive heart failure, a coronary artery bypass helps reroute the blood supply around a blocked section of the artery, ideally helping the heart receive the blood flow (and oxygen) it needs to function properly.
  • Heart Valve Replacement: If the heart valves are damaged or defective, heart valve surgery may help restore the appropriate flow of blood inside the heart.
  • Heart Transplant: In the most severe cases of congestive heart failure, a heart transplant provides treatment by replacing the entire heart.

Side Effects and Warnings

Surgeries for congestive heart failure pose significant risks to the patient. See individual procedures for more information:

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