Heart Failure can present itself in two ways:
Acute Heart Failure or Chronic Heart failure.
Acute Heart Failure is a condition that can happen to a heart that has been diseased with conditions like Cardiomyopathy or Acute ischaemic Attack. Cardiomyopathy causes are not known most of the time. It could be secondary to a viral infection of the heart.
An Acute Ischaemic Attack can cause sudden loss of Heart function due to loss of a major portion of Cardiac Muscle leading to the collapse of the patient.
This situation is usually fatal and needs immediate life support mechanisms to be instituted. In such situations, we install the ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) which is a machine that takes care of the Heart and Lungs of a patient and therefore the circulation to all vital organs of the body. We can also use the IABP (Intra AorticBaloon Pump) in a few milder cases of Ischaemic Heart Failure. In some patients, we also use another pump called the CENTRIMAGPUMP to support the heart.
Chronic Heart Failure is a condition that can present itself in a patient 3 to 6 months after he has passed through the acute event. Usually, the acute inflammatory condition would have settled but his heart function would be still low as a significant portion of his heart muscle is damaged. In such conditions we could provide any of the following therapies:
- LV Aneurysm Repair and LV Reconstruction – When the damage is localized to a segment of the heart.
- SAVE Operation– when we have more than one segment which has become scarred and non-functional.
- LVAD Implantation– in situations where the damage and loss of function are generalized and the EF(Ejection factor) is only about 15 percent a LVAD is implanted. LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) is an artificial heart pump that can take over the function of the left side of the heart and it runs with a battery that will be outside the body.