Heart failure treatment in the Greater Richmond region

There are many heart conditions—including cardiomyopathy and pulmonary hypertension—that can ultimately lead to heart failure if left untreated. At HCA Virginia Physicians, our cardiologists are experienced in performing advanced procedures to treat these conditions as well as heart failure.

To seek care for suspected heart conditions, visit one of our expert cardiologists by scheduling an appointment online.

Causes of heart failure

Heart failure occurs when the heart is no longer able to receive the amount of blood it needs to function properly. It may also occur when the heart is under increased stress to maintain functionality. This may occur naturally with age or because of lifestyle choices, such as smoking, a lack of physical activity and a diet high in fat and cholesterol.

Our heart doctors specialize in treating the following heart conditions that can lead to heart failure:

Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)

Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease in which a damaged heart does not pump blood correctly. The disease usually progresses and can cause patients to develop life-threatening heart failure. People with cardiomyopathy are also more likely to have irregular heartbeats, or arrhythmias.

Congestive heart failure

When the heart sustains an injury that weakens its pumping ability, a complicated state called congestive heart failure (CHF) can develop. During CHF, fluid builds up in the lungs and lower extremities. As a result, the heart enlarges and many symptoms develop, including severe fatigue, difficulty breathing while lying down and altered brain function.

Pulmonary hypertension

Hypertension occurs when this pressure gets too high and the blood has difficultly flowing through vessels. When this happens in the blood vessels in the lungs, it is referred to as pulmonary hypertension. When pressure arises in the blood vessels of the lungs, it creates a serious condition in which the right side of the heart needs to pump harder to move blood against the pressure. If left untreated, the right side of the heart can eventually fail.

Heart failure diagnosis

To ensure we provide effective treatment to each patient, we offer services to diagnose and heart failure, including:

Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a test that uses a catheter and an X-ray machine to view the heart and its blood supply. It is used to find the cause of symptoms, such as chest pain or heart palpitations, that could suggest underlying heart problems.

Heart failure treatment

We offer many treatments to effectively treat heart failure, such as:

Coronary angioplasty

A coronary angioplasty is a procedure to open an artery in the heart that has become narrowed because of plaque buildup on the artery walls. This procedure allows better blood flow through the artery and to the heart muscle.

Coronary stenting

During coronary stenting, a stent (metal tube) is placed in an artery in the heart. This stent helps keep the artery open after an artery has been cleared of blockage. There are two types of stents: drug-eluting and bare-metal. The difference between them is that the drug-eluting stent is coated with a slow-release medication. This drug helps decrease the rate of re-blockage in the artery.

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

A ventricular assist device (VAD) functions by using compressed air or battery power to boost the function of a failing heart chamber (a ventricle). The most common VAD is an LVAD, which pumps blood from the left ventricle to the aorta.

Pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) devices

A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device. It helps maintain a normal heartbeat by sending electrical impulses to the heart. Similar to a pacemaker, an ICD is a small, battery-operated device, but it monitors the heart’s rhythm as well as controlling the heartbeat. If the heart beats too slowly, the ICD can help the heart beat at a normal pace. If the heart begins to beat in a disorganized way, the device provides a shock to restore a normal rhythm.