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Understanding and Managing Chronic Heart Failure

Understanding and Managing CHRONIC HEART FAILURE Surgery For some people with chronic heart failure, surgery is necessary to treat whatever underlying problems may have led to chronic heart failure. The surgery can correct the problems, but it doesn’t necessarily reverse the effects of heart failure or “cure” the condition. Common surgical interventions include: PLAY VIDEO CABG CABG video • Coronary bypass surgery (CABG): When the coronary arteries become severely blocked by the effects of atherosclerosis, CABG surgery may become necessary. This procedure involves the removal of blood vessels from your leg, arm or chest. This vessel is used to surgically bypass the blocked area of the artery, so blood can move more effectively through to your heart. Sometimes an angioplasty is also inserted to help keep the bypassed artery open. • Heart valve surgery: For people whose chronic heart failure is caused by a faulty heart valve, corrective surgery may be recommended. This can mean the repair or total replacement of the leaky valve. There are several techniques for fixing the faulty valve, including reconnecting the “leaflets” of the faulty valve or removing excess valve tissue — in both cases, so the leaflets can close more securely. Another type of valve repair involves the tightening of the ring that surrounds the valve itself. When repair isn’t possible, valve replacement may become necessary. In this procedure, the damaged valve is replaced by an artificial valve. 14


Understanding and Managing Chronic Heart Failure
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