Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Failing Heart Surgery

Surgical options for the treatment of congestive heart failure include:

Heart valve replacement or repair:
Valvular surgery can help many patients with severe aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, mitral stenosis, and mitral regurgitation.

Coronary artery bypass grafting:
In this procedure, vein grafts are taken from the patient's leg and then used to reconstruct a new coronary vessel. In certain patients, surgery can remove scarred heart tissue to improve overall pumping action.

Heart transplantation:
Some individuals with severe heart failure and pulmonary hypertension may be candidates for heart lung transplantation. Heart transplantation is becoming more and more effective with the advent of chemical agents that suppress the immune response and inhibit organ rejection.

Biventricular pacemaker:
Also referred to as cardiac resynchronization therapy, it involves the placement of two pacemaker electrodes in the heart: one in the front and one in the back of the heart. This procedure has been shown to improve exercise capacity as well as prolong life.

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Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Failing Heart References
  1. Bibbins-Domingo K, Lin F, Vittinghoff E, Barrett-Connor E, Hulley SB, Grady D, Shlipak MG. Predictors of heart failure among women with coronary disease. Circulation. 2004 Sep 14;110(11):1424-30. [1535349]
  2. Chen QM, Tu VC. Apoptosis and heart failure: mechanisms and therapeutic implications. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2002;2(1):43-57. [14727998]
  3. Ebinger MW, Krishnan S, Schuger CD. Mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure. Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2005 Sep;2(3):111-7. [16138946]
  4. Mitchell J, Taylor A. Congestive heart failure in women. J Fam Pract. 2005 Jul;Suppl:6-7. [16134558]
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