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Heart Failure Treatment

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Heart Failure - An Overview

Heart failure happens when your heart muscle fails to pump blood efficiently or fails to relax sufficiently to accommodate the blood. Heart failure can result in the blood stagnating and building up in the lungs, leading to breathing difficulties.

The main reason for heart failure is the weakening of your heart muscles. You may develop telltale signs that your heart is failing in its capacity to pump blood and supply your body with oxygenated blood and nutrients. As the heart muscles weaken, your heart may become too stiff or weak to function properly.

Navigating heart failure can be challenging, but you don't have to do it alone. Dr. Karthigesan is here to support you every step of the way. An accomplished cardiologist, Dr. Karthigesan has dedicated his career to understanding the heart and helping patients navigate complex conditions like heart failure. With Dr. Karthigesan, you're not just receiving medical treatment. You're gaining a partner who is committed to your journey towards better heart health.

  • Breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain if heart failure occurs due to a heart attack
  • Swelling of the abdomen, feet, and legs
  • Rapid or irregular pulse
The image of a man holding his chest with heart pulse signals illustrates heart failure.

Other Complications

Heart failure complications are based on your general physical health, age, and the severity of your heart condition. Heart failure may lead to:

  • Kidney issues: The reduced blood flow from the heart may result in kidney failure or damage to one or both kidneys. Eventually, you may require dialysis to treat your damaged kidneys.
  • Liver damage: Heart failure may lead to oedema in the body, pressurising your liver and eventually leading to lung scarring. This condition will further reduce the functional capacity of your lungs.
  • Sudden cardiac death: A weak heart may undergo dangerously irregular heart rhythms, resulting in sudden death.
  • Cardiac rhythm issues: Heart failure can change the way the heart beats. Such changes can result in rapid, irregular heartbeats and heart valve damage.
  • Respiratory issues: Heart failure may rarely cause pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary congestion, and respiratory muscle weakness.
  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure Hypertension)
  • Valve disease
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart
  • Myocarditis or infection of the heart
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Hyper or Hypothyroidism
  • Chronic kidney diseases
  • Previous heart attack (Myocardial Infarction)
  • Endocarditis or inflammation of the inner lining of the heart
  • Obesity
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • History of cardiac issues in the family
  • Unhealthy food habits
A medical expert showing a virtual image of a human body with vital organs illustrates the complications of heart failure.

Types of Heart Failure

Left-sided heart failure

The left side of your heart works harder when you have left-sided heart failure. A healthy left ventricle’s ejection fraction is above 60%. An ejection fraction or EF is the percentage of blood pumped by the heart with every beat. Left-sided heart failure is further categorised as:

  • Systolic failure occurs when the left ventricle is unable to contract normally, thus inhibiting its ability to pump the required amount of blood for circulation. Systolic failure is also known as Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection or HFrEF. During systolic failure, the heart’s pumping ability is equal to or less than 40% EF.
  • Diastolic failure happens when the muscles in the left ventricle become stiff and hamper their ability to relax normally. During a diastolic failure, the heart does not fill up with blood properly while it rests between each beat, and the EF is equal to or greater than 50%. Another term for diastolic failure is Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection or HFpEF.

Right-sided heart failure

Right ventricular heart failure usually results from left-sided heart failure. When this happens, the fluid pressure is routed back through the lungs, eventually damaging the heart’s right side. Once damaged, the right side loses its ability to pump blood and causes the blood to back up in your veins.

Congestive heart failure

CHF, or Congestive Heart Failure or heart failure, is a medical condition requiring immediate attention. Congestion occurs in the body tissues when the blood flows out of the heart and slows down, causing the blood returning towards the heart in the veins to back up. This congestion manifests as oedema in the ankles, legs, and other body parts. Sometimes it may result in pulmonary oedema, where the fluid collects inside the lungs and obstructs your breathing, especially when lying down. Unless treated immediately, pulmonary oedema can cause respiratory distress.

In other cases, heart failure impacts kidney function, obstructing it from properly eliminating water and sodium and leading to excessive blood volume. This excessive fluid can also add to water retention in your body.

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Heart Failure Treatment

It is important to seek medical help if you experience any heart failure symptoms mentioned above. Dr Karthigesan will diagnose your condition and opt for the best heart failure treatment to relieve your symptoms and improve the quality of your health. He may suggest:


Dr. Karthigesan may prescribe standard guideline-directed medical therapies, which include various types of medications to help you manage heart failure and prevent symptoms.

Heart Failure Device Implantation

Sometimes, if your condition requires it, Dr. Karthgesan may suggest implanting devices such as a pacemaker, CRT or Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy with Pacemaker (CRT-P) or Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy or CRT-D, or an Automatic Invertible Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD).

Lifestyle changes

Dr Karthigesan will suggest opting for a healthy, low-sodium diet, regular exercise, and quitting smoking in order to improve your heart health.


In some cases, severe heart failure may call for heart surgery. Dr Karthigesan specialises in surgeries like valve replacement surgery and coronary bypass surgery. Heart Transplantation or Ventricular Assist Devices are other options to rectify heart failure.
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Heart Failure Treatment - Answers to Your Queries

Yes, it is. Heart failure causes abnormal heart rhythms that hamper the heart’s capacity to pump blood. When the heart fails to do this function efficiently, it significantly increases the risk of death.

As an expert cardiologist, Dr. Karthigesan will first examine your heart, abdomen, lungs, and legs for any telltale signs of heart failure. He may suggest the following tests to further his diagnosis:

  • Blood tests
  • ECG or electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Chest x-ray
  • Cardiac catheterisation

Dr. Karthigesan will do an echocardiogram with the help of advanced technology like 3D, 4D, and strain-rate imaging to track your ejection fraction over a given time period to assess your heart’s functioning ability. Ejection fraction refers to the amount of blood the heart pumps out with each beat.

No, all three terms refer to various cardiac issues:

  • A heart attack occurs when there’s a blockage in the blood vessels carrying blood to the heart.
  • Heart failure refers to the heart’s inability to pump blood efficiently.
  • A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops functioning completely. During a cardiac arrest, there is no blood circulation or pulse.

Not at all. Anyone can have heart failure, irrespective of age. Although it is life-threatening, it can be treated and managed well. With Dr. Karthigesan’s expertise, you can get the best heart failure treatment.

Of course, although much of it depends on your symptoms, your response to treatment, and your heart’s condition. Under Dr. Karthigesans’s cardiac care and treatment plans, you can enjoy a fuller life without the fear of heart failure.

Apart from lifestyle-related recommendations and medications, Dr Karthigesan might suggest including implantable devices such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for selected patients to improve their heart failure symptoms and prevent sudden cardiac deaths.

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