Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

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Heart Failure Center

Heart Failure CenterHeart failure affects 5,000,000 patients in the U.S. with 550,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Even though this disease increases in frequency in older adults, it may affect a person at any age. In Indiana there are 8,600 new cases of heart failure diagnosed each year.

Our approach to heart failure care

At the Heart Failure Center, we focus on patient-centered care for everything, from early detection and diagnosis to a complete array of treatment options, including medications, heart valve repair and replacements, and mechanical devices to help the heart work better.

We address the needs of all heart failure patients and apply the best technology available with the best experts available to use it. In fact, we implement a multidisciplinary approach, building a team of specialty physicians and advanced practice nurses to ensure the best course of treatments to reduce the patient’s symptoms, improve quality of life and prolong survival.

Frequently asked questions about the congestive heart failure clinic >>

What is heart failure?

Heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped or failed; it means that the heart has become weakened and does not pump enough blood with each heartbeat to meet the demands of the body. When your heart does not pump efficiently, blood may back up into your lungs and other tissues. When this happens, organs such as your kidneys and your brain receive less blood and oxygen and you may begin to experience the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath when you exert yourself or when you lie down
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles and feet
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm
  • Swelling of your abdomen
  • Sudden weight gain from fluid retention
  • Lack of appetite and nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating / decreased alertness

Can heart failure go away or be cured?

Heart failure is a chronic disease that will never fully go away; however, your heart failure symptoms may come and go. If the cause of heart failure is known, there are treatment options that offer the best long-term results. Most often, heart failure can be controlled with medicines, diet, rest and low-level exercise. Sometimes the cause of heart failure is unknown. Heart failure can also be temporary if the cause can be reversed.

What causes heart failure?

Heart failure can be caused by any medical problem that weakens or damages the heart muscle. Having diabetes with or without heart disease, or high blood pressure, increases the risk of heart failure, especially in women. Common causes of heart failure include:

  • Coronary artery disease (buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits in the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen)
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiomyopathy (changes to your heart muscle function)
  • Abnormal heart valves (valves do not fully open or close)
  • Severe lung disease
  • Severe anemia (not having enough red blood cells to carry oxygen)
  • Overactive thyroid (causes the body to work at a fast pace)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm (heart beating too fast or too slow)
  • Overuse of alcohol or other toxins
  • Certain medications (e.g., chemotherapy agents)
  • Infection of the heart muscle
  • Familial or genetic (condition present in other family members)

Contact the Heart Failure Center

Community Hospital East: 317-355-2246
Community Hospital South: 317-887-7988
Community Heart and Vascular Hospital: 317-621-8668

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