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Congestive heart failure

Heart failure is a serious heart disease

The heart is your body’s most important muscle. It is responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout your body and a condition like heart failure can have serious effects on your overall health.

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, does not mean your heart has stopped working. It simply means that your heart cannot pump a healthy amount of blood and oxygen. Some of the most common symptoms you may experience are reduced energy, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath and swelling in the legs. Leading causes of heart failure are coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Heart failure may be a serious heart disease, but we can provide the monitoring and treatment needed for you to live a long and active life.

At Novant Health, we offer programs and surgical procedures that are designed to help improve your quality of life and decrease the time spent in the hospital. Once you are diagnosed with heart failure, we will show you how to monitor your weight, diet, exercise levels, medications and fluid intake and stop using tobacco to help you take control of your condition. Some of the services our locations may offer include:

  • Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP)
  • Accurate and efficient diagnosis of the etiology of heart failure
  • Personalized medical therapy based on the latest research and guidelines
  • Evaluation and referral for bi-ventricular pacemaker/implantable cardiac defibrillator implantation
  • Evaluation for surgical therapies including ventricular restoration surgery and valve repair
  • Home inotrope infusion therapies
  • Intensive education program
  • Nutrition counseling to assist with dietary and salt restrictions
  • Individual sessions with a licensed professional counselor
  • Referral for cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardiopulmonary stress testing
  • Heart failure support group

Enhanced external counterpulsation – nonsurgical heart failure treatment

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a nonsurgical treatment option that increases the blood flow to your heart by creating a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries. This treatment is popular for reducing chest pain, decreasing your need for medications and improving your physical activity capability.

Some of our Novant Health locations may also offer access to a heart failure clinic. To find out if certain services or clinics are available in your community, contact the facility closest to you.


After a heart failure diagnosis, you will typically be discharged once you have developed the ability to regulate medication and tolerate limited activities in your daily living; however, it is important that you continue to comply with your treatment plan or continue care at a heart failure clinic after leaving the hospital.

Managing heart failure
  • You should continue, at home, all the treatment started in the hospital according to the discharge instructions we give you.
  • Keeping track of your weight is important. We will provide you with a weight tracker to help you monitor and record your weight. Your nurse will discuss fluid intake limits with you before you are discharged.
  • Follow diet instructions to limit sodium intake. We suggest you choose foods with less than 200 mg of sodium per serving; however, the lower the better.
  • Taking your medications as prescribed is one of the most important things you can do to manage your condition. If you have any questions about your medications, please ask your doctor or pharmacist.

For more information about treatment options, heart failure management or to set up an appointment, contact the Novant Health heart experts at a location nearest you.


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