Immediate Treatment for Heart Failure in Williamsport, PA
Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart gradually loses the ability to pump blood effectively throughout the body. Over time, this causes fatigue and shortness of breath as the body receives less oxygen-rich blood. For most people, heart failure is a chronic (lifelong) disease.
At UPMC, our team of experienced cardiology providers offer complete care to diagnose and treat heart failure in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas. If you’d like to learn more about our services or make an appointment, please Find a Provider.
There are two types of heart failure:
- Systolic heart failure occurs when the heart becomes weakened or enlarged and cannot pump blood from its chambers.
- Diastolic dysfunction occurs when the heart muscle becomes stiff and prevents the ventricles from filling with enough blood.
Heart failure is most often caused by another heart problem or condition, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, high blood pressure or heart valve disease.
To evaluate your heart, a doctor at UPMC Susquehanna's Heart & Vascular Institute may perform x-rays, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, lab tests, treadmill stress testing, cardiac catheterization or Holter monitoring.
Heart Failure Symptoms
In general, symptoms of heart failure include:
- Chest pain or congestion
- Shortness of breath with physical exertion that goes away with rest
- Swelling of the feet or legs
- Weight gain
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of heart failure, speak with a cardiologist as soon as possible. Our physicians offer the latest care to treat heart failure in Williamsport, Lock Haven, Muncy, and Wellsboro, and the surrounding areas.
If you’re experiencing severe symptoms of heart failure, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, seek emergency medical help right away or call 911.
Heart Failure Causes
Heart failure is a condition caused when the heart muscle is damaged or overworked. Damage or overuse causes the heart to weaken and lose the ability to pump blood. A heart attack can cause heart failure and is often the result of untreated heart disease.
Common causes of congestive heart failure include:
- Coronary artery disease—hardening of the arteries
- Heart valve disorders
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Substance abuse, including use of anabolic steroids
- Untreated anemia
Heart Failure Treatment at UPMC
At UPMC, our cardiology providers are dedicated to the health and well-being of the communities in North Central PA. When it comes to treating heart failure and related complications, our cardiology teams focus on reducing risk factors, easing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots or keep your heartbeat steady.
In other cases, your doctor may suggest a heart procedure to reduce the health problems causing your heart failure. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend:
- Angioplasty and stenting
- Bypass surgery
- Valve surgery or repair
- Insertion of a pacemaker
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
- Cardiac rehab program
As part of our cardiology services, UPMC provides the latest therapies and treatments for heart failure in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.