Congestive Heart Failure

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Congestive heart failure is when the heart is unable to pump as much blood as the body needs which can leave the heart too weak to effectively pump blood and fluid will build up in the lungs and other parts of the body. Congestive heart failure is a lifelong disease which means that the patient will have the disease for their whole life.


Symptoms for congestive heart failure will occur when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. In the early stages of congestive heart failure, the symptoms may include

  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue and weakness

As congestive heart failure gets worse, the symptoms that the patient experiences will differ. These include

  • Swelling in the legs
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Weight gain

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose congestive heart failure. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress Test
  • Chest X-ray


Treatments for congestive heart failure will help slow the condition and help the patient to live longer. Some of the treatments a doctor may have to undergo are

  • Medication
  • Pacemaker
  • ICD

Lifestyle Changes:

The patient can make changes to their everyday life so that they can feel better and live longer. These lifestyle changes can also help with the patient’s treatment. The patient should do the following

  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Reduce Stress
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Quit smoking