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Heart Failure Services at UPMC in Central Pa.

Recognizing the symptoms of heart failure and learning to manage your condition can help you avoid hospital stays and improve your quality of life.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for heart failure treatment?

When you choose UPMC in Central Pa. for your heart failure treatment, you will receive expert care from a team of highly qualified heart failure specialists. We offer a full range of diagnostic tests for heart failure, including:

If you are diagnosed with heart failure, your doctors will provide you with a personalized treatment plan and access to the latest therapies and treatments, which may include:

Although many people can live well and comfortably while treating heart failure, some patients continue to decline despite treatment. Our specialists also offer palliative care, which helps to treat symptoms of heart failure and side effects of treatment, and end-of-life care, if necessary.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped working instead, it means that your heart's pumping power is not as strong as it should be. Over time, heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure can weaken or damage your heart and prevent it from pumping enough blood for your body. Complications of heart failure can include:

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

It can be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of heart failure from other medical conditions. Some people who have heart failure do not have any symptoms, but other people experience symptoms that range from mild to severe. You should get medical help as soon as possible for symptoms including:

  • Swelling in your legs and arms
  • Shortness of breath, especially when you lie down or are physically active
  • Coughing or wheezing that won’t go away
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden weight gain and bloating
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Lack of appetite and/or nausea
  • Awakening with shortness of breath
  • Difficulty concentrating or staying alert
  • Sleeping with extra pillows or in a chair to ease breathing

If you have already been diagnosed with heart failure and develop a new symptom or your symptoms get worse, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Who is at risk for heart failure?

If you have had a previous heart attack or have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease or another type of heart damage, you are at a higher risk of experiencing heart failure. Other risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart defects that are present at birth
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, obesity, and thyroid problems
  • Lifestyle choices, such as alcohol and tobacco use

Who is at risk for heart failure?

Preventing heart disease, heart damage, and chronic conditions can reduce your risk of having heart failure. Exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains also can help lower your risk. You also should control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, avoid smoking, and limit alcoholic beverages.


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Phone: 717-231-8445

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