Mechanical Heart Rescue Could Lead to Healing - and Freedom
If I had a transplant, then I'd have to take immunosuppressants that would mean I wouldn't have been able to be with my great-grandchildren if they were sick.
The heart is almost all muscle. With each of its expansions and contractions, it sends blood out into the body to enable its every action. When that muscle weakens, the body begins to fail, too.
Who is at risk?
- Heart failure can be caused by many conditions, including valvular disease, high blood pressure, narrowed coronary arteries, irregular heartbeat, infection and diabetes.
- Age: At age 65, heart failure is the most common reason for hospital admission.
What are the symptoms?
- Shortness of breath
- Visible swelling of the legs, ankles, feet and, sometimes, abdomen
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite and nausea
- Persistent coughing or wheezing accompanied by phlegm
- Decreased alertness
How is it treated?
- Surgery, including valve repair, ventricular restoration, coronary artery bypass, myotomy and transplant
- Medical devices such as a defibrillator, pacemaker or ventricular assist like the LVAD
Who is a candidate for LVAD?
Someone whose heart has deteriorated beyond the best medical management, but whose overall health is strong enough to withstand surgery
How to keep your heart healthy
- Eat a low-fat, low-sodium diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Limit alcohol consumption
Everything's been going good. Dr. Banerjee keeps saying, 'People aren't in your shape after having this.'