What is Heart Failure & Its Treatments?

The term “heart failure” can sound terrifying, as if the heart has stopped working, but don’t let the name alarm you. Heart failure simply means the heart is unable to pump blood as effectively and efficiently as it should, and there are various potential underlying causes. Fortunately, there are treatment strategies to relieve symptoms, slow down the condition’s progression, and improve quality of life. 
A cardiologist, also known as a heart doctor or cardiovascular doctor, is best prepared to diagnose and treat heart failure in patients. Residents in the area who are looking for an expert can call Cardiovascular Specialists to schedule a convenient appointment.

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure means the heart is unable to properly pump blood around the body. Generally, this is because the heart is too stiff or weak, often as a result of certain heart conditions like narrowed arteries and high blood pressure. Over time, structural and functional changes in the heart reduce its ability to sufficiently pump blood to organs and parts of the body.
There are two primary types of heart failure: systolic heart failure & diastolic heart failure. In short, systolic heart failure occurs when the heart muscle fails to adequately contract during each heartbeat. Diastolic heart failure, meanwhile, happens when the heart is stiff and doesn’t relax properly between heartbeats.

What is the Cure for Heart Failure?

Sadly, there is no known cure for heart failure. Heart failure is a chronic condition that requires lifelong management. While it is not curable, there are treatment options. Heart failure treatment can include a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, rehabilitation, and surgical interventions.

How is Heart Failure Treated?

The treatment for heart failure will depend on the severity of the condition, underlying causes, and other individual patient factors. Common approaches to heart failure treatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Medication: There are various medications researched and used to manage heart failure. They work in many ways, including relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure, slowing the heart rate, reduce fluid buildup, strengthening heart contractions, and more.
  • Lifestyle Changes: As with all medical disorders and conditions, heart failure can benefit from lifestyle modifications. Eat a heart-healthy diet, engage in regular exercise as advised by healthcare professionals, limit or quit alcohol and smoking, and stay hydrated! Get good sleep and manage stress in a healthy way.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: People with heart failure should be careful with physical exercise. Cardiac rehabilitation programs provide supervised exercise training, education, and counseling
  • Medical Devices: Pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices can be used to support the heart.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, the cardiologist may refer the patient to a surgeon for coronary artery bypass grafting, heart valve repair, or a heart transplant.

Consult with your doctor if you have any specific questions or concerns regarding heart failure. Your physician and/or medical team is best prepared to provide diagnosis, treatment, and guidance based on your unique situation. Residents in the area are welcome to call Cardiovascular Specialists to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, or heart doctor, today.


What Our Patients Say

Client Testimonals


Sylvia Savoie

Hanover, PA

My mom was seen by Dr. Gilbert. She was treated like a queen. Treated her with respect and dignity and took his time even going through writing the information down so she would have the paper. I can’t say enough and the staff at the Cardiovascular Specialist of York clinic was great and friendly.

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Joann Bernard

York, PA

Dr. Gilbert provided excellent service. Both personable and professional. Went above and beyond to provide detailed explanations that I could readily understand. I've never felt more comfortable and better served. If you need a cardiologist in town, I strongly recommend seeing Dr. Gilbert.

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Karen Canzoneri

Pennville, PA

Excellent experience. Dr. Gilbert gave me a wealth of information about taking good care of myself.  I went into this appointment a little worried but came out relieved after his clear explanation and valuable health tips. If you are looking for the best cardiologist in town look no further than Cardiovascular Specialists of York.

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