Understanding your diagnosis of heart failure

Heart FailureSo you’ve spoken with your primary doctor and have received a diagnosis of heart failure. Now what?

Many patients in the Mesa, AZ community who are diagnosed with heart failure may be unsure as to what their future holds. They may worry about this condition negatively impacting their day-to-day life, and may worry about the consequences that can happen if the condition is not properly monitored.

How is heart failure diagnosed?

Diagnosis of heart failure may be performed by a primary care physician or a specialist, such as the team at Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa in Mesa, AZ. Our providers can evaluate a patient thoroughly and perform diagnostic tests to get an idea as to the condition patients are experiencing. Diagnosis of heart failure may be done via:

  • CT scans
  • MRI’s
  • Coronary angiograms
  • Stress tests
  • Echocardiograms
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest x-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Myocardial biopsy

Once the doctor has received the results back from the necessary diagnostic testing, he or she will then provide a proper diagnosis. There are two ways in which a doctor may classify the severity of heart failure, including the classification from the New York Heart Association and the guidelines of the American College of Cariology and the American Heart Association. Both methods incorporate a classification system from one to four that determines the severity of a condition and the type of treatment needed for an individual.

Treatment of heart failure

The classification of the condition will help the doctor determine the best course of treatment for an individual. Patients in the earlier stages of heart failure may be able to maintain their quality of life with the use of medications, including beta blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors and receptor blockers. Later stage situations may require surgical interventions. Common surgical treatments include coronary bypass surgery, heart valve repair, heart valve replacement, implantable devices, and even a complete heart transplant for the most severe cases.

Are you experiencing the signs and symptoms of heart failure?

It is critical that you speak to a doctor about your condition and get a proper diagnosis. Patients interested in cardiovascular care in the Mesa, AZ area are welcome to connect with the staff at Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa by calling (480) 641-5400. The practice is located at 6116 East Arbor Avenue.