What Are Non-Surgical Treatments for Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure is a serious problem in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 5 million people in the United States are affected. The condition shortens lives, but it can be treated properly. There are many ways to treat this condition that do not involve surgery.

  1. Diet and Exercise

    • A person with congestive heart failure must watch his diet and exercise often. The diet should be low in fat and salt, and be filled with fruits and vegetables. Sugar should also be avoided because it can cause weight gain, which negatively affects congestive heart failure. Exercise is necessary and can be an excellent way to treat congestive heart failure in the early stages. Exercise can actually help to strengthen the heart and ward off more serious symptoms of the disease.


    • Medications are frequently used to treat CHF. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that medication such as Lasix, which is a diuretic, is used to prevent fluid retention that many CHF patients suffer from. Also, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) are frequently prescribed and considered the first line of treatment with CHF patients. ACE inhibitors such as ramipril are used to help blood vessels expand, lower heart rate, and thus reducing the heart's workload.

    Electronic Device

    • Implanting electronic devices is often used to treat congestive heart failure. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is an example of one of these devices. An ICD is implanted near the collarbone, just underneath the skin. It is then attached to the heart using wires. The ICD monitors the hearts rhythm and if a dangerous rhythm develops, the ICD will shock it back to a normal rhythm.

    Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

    • The website for the Heart Rhythm Society reports that cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is an innovative procedure that relieves the symptoms of CHF by improving the coordination of the heart's contractions. Many patients with CHF will also have an arrhythmia. In these cases, CRT is used to overcome this problem and restore regular heartbeats. According to The Heart Rhythm Society, this procedure has great potential to treat and save lives of CHF patients.

    Experimental Therapy

    • According to The Mayo Clinic, experimental treatments are also being used to treat congestive heart failure. One of these treatments is called cardiac wrap surgery. It involves wrapping the failing heart in a mesh bag. This procedure is thought to help save a weakened heart from failing further.

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  • Photo Credit Medications are Just one Method of Non Surgical Treatment for CHF; Microsoft.com

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