Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Heart Failure and BioVentrix Therapy.

What is heart failure/CHF?

It can take years for heart failure to develop or it can come on quickly, particularly after a heart attack. Changes to the heart’s size, structure and function may precede really noticeable symptoms by several months or even years. If you suspect your heart may be failing, consult your physician immediately.

What causes heart failure?

Heart failure occurs when something damages the heart muscle and interferes with its natural pumping action. The most common causes of heart failure are high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and heart attack. Other things that can contribute to heart failure include diabetes, leaking heart valves, and abnormal heart rhythms.

How is heart failure diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose heart failure during a medical exam, usually from its multiple signs and symptoms, which include difficulty breathing, fatigue, weakness, and excess fluid in the lungs, legs and arms. Testing for heart failure may include a chest X-ray and/or a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram). Results from blood, heart rhythm or other special tests may also be used to confirm whether the heart has failed. Only a medical doctor can accurately diagnose the condition.

Who suffers from heart failure?

Heart failure is a major public health issue, affecting nearly six million patients in the US, and over 23 million worldwide, including 14 million in Europe. The majority of heart failure victims are age 65 or older, and more men than women develop the condition.

How long does it take for CHF to develop?

It can take years for heart failure to develop or it can come on quickly, particularly after a heart attack. Changes to the heart’s size, structure and function may precede really noticeable symptoms by several months or even years. If you suspect your heart may be failing, consult your physician immediately.

What are congestive heart failure (CHF) symptoms?

Common symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Fatigue and/or shortness of breath during normal activity
  • Increased swelling of feet, legs, fingers or abdomen
  • Weight gain caused by fluid retention
  • Shortness of breath and/or anxiety when lying flat, especially in bed
  • Persistent dry, hacking cough
  • Generalized weakness
  • Nausea or swelling in the abdomen
  • Frequent urination at night

Is heart failure the same as heart attack?

No. A heart attack occurs (usually quickly) when the artery that supplies blood to the heart becomes blocked (by a clot or plaque) and prevents fresh blood from reaching and refreshing the heart. After a heart attack, the affected part may be permanently damaged. Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot circulate enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Heart failure may take years to develop, and is often a consequence of one or more heart attacks that have left the heart muscle scarred and damaged.

How is heart failure treated?

Heart failure patients with less severe symptoms are treated conservatively with diet, exercise and medications. As the disease progresses, more aggressive, interventional therapies, such as stenting, angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery may be applied. In many patients, placement of pacing devices can improve heart function. Surgical repair or replacement of damaged heart valves is also an option in some cases, as is Left Ventricular Reconstruction (LVR).

What is left ventricular reconstruction (LVR)?

Heart failure patients with less severe symptoms are treated conservatively with diet, exercise and medications. As the disease progresses, more aggressive, interventional therapies, such as stenting, angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery may be applied. In many patients, placement of pacing devices can improve heart function. Surgical repair or replacement of damaged heart valves is also an option in some cases, as is Left Ventricular Reconstruction (LVR).

Can the BioVentrix LIVE™ procedure help me?

Possibly. The BioVentrix Revivent System facilitates the innovative new LIVE™ heart failure procedure. LIVE, which stands for Less Invasive Ventricular Enhancement™, ranks among the most important recent advances in heart failure therapy. LIVE therapy has the potential to benefit millions of heart failure patients but only your doctor can determine if the Revivent System can help you.