Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Is Congestive Heart Failure The Same As Heart Attack?

Congestive heart failure is quite different from heart attack. While heart attack is essentially the sudden stopping of the muscles of the heart due to blockage in the artery, congestive heart failure is the weakening of the heart muscles which makes it inefficient to pump blood properly throughout the body. Heart attack is quite different from congestive heart failure.

What are the Symptoms of Heart Attack and How Is It Different from Congestive Heart Failure?

The symptoms of heart attack are quite subjective as it may be different for different patients. Some of the general symptoms may include-

  • A feeling of discomfort usually experienced on the upper part of the body especially in the arms, neck or even back and the stomach above the navel.
  • Heart attack accompanies with a strange feeling of pressure on the chest, usually in the centre. The feeling is best described as the area of the chest is being clasped for some minutes. This feeling can come and go.
  • When heart attack occurs, the patient may find it difficult to breathe properly.
  • The patient may feel nauseated and can have cold sweat.

When it comes to congestive heart failure, the patient may have the following symptoms like-

  • Irregular heart beat and palpitations.
  • There may be a presence of coughing and wheezing.
  • The patient may find it difficult to breathe while lying straight.
  • Water retention may lead to increased weight gain and swelling of the body parts.
  • There may be clouding of consciousness and confusion at the advanced stages of the disease.

What are the Causes Of Heart Attack?

Heart attack is an episode caused due to blockage in the coronary artery of the heart. Usually one may have an episode of heart attack when some parts of the plaque formation contributing to the blockage breaks and forms a clot thereby causing a hindrance to the blood flow. At times, even when there is no history of blockage in the arteries, a spasm occurring in it may lead to heart attack.

What Can Lead To Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure is a condition that can be triggered by a number of factors. An episode of heart attack is capable of leading to congestive heart failure, in case the patient has blockage in the coronary artery. Other factors that may lead to coronary heart disease may include a history of high blood pressure, leakage in the heart valves, congenital heart disease and inflammation of the heart muscles due to some form of infection.

What are the Surgical Options To Treat Congestive Heart Failure?

As the condition of congestive heart failure is progressive, the advanced stages of the disease may require surgery. Some of the surgical methods may include-

Heart Valve Surgery: When there is a presence of defective heart valves which lead to congestive heart failure a heart valve surgery may be recommended to repair the damage.

Heart Transplant: Heart transplant is another method to treat the problem of congestive heart failure. It should be noted that heart transplant is done only when other organs of the patient is in perfect working condition other than the heart.

LVAD: With medical advancement, doctors have started to use a device in the patient's body to help the heart pump blood efficiently. Such a device is called the Implantable left ventricular Assist Device. It is called as LVAD in short.

Treatment procedures and surgical methods for both depend on the actual causes of the disease. No matter what, lifestyle changes and a proper healthy diet are of utmost importance to lead a good and symptom free life.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 10, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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