The purpose of The Heart Center of North Texas CHF Clinic is to help patients diagnosed with CHF the knowledge and tools to maintain and even improve their quality of life.  Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a chronic and often undiagnosed medical condition in which the heart becomes weak and is unable to pump blood effectively throughout the body. Although the words “heart failure” sound alarming, heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped beating or is about to stop working; it does mean that your heart is unable to pump blood the way it should to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your body or easily remove waste from it.  For most people, CHF is chronic, which means it can be managed and treated, but not cured. 

After enrollment in the CHF clinic, to see why your heart has weakened, your Heart Center of North Texas physician or nurse practitioner will begin with an examination (history and physician exam), ask you some questions and possibly do some tests. The physician is looking for signs and symptoms of CHF as well as any underlying condition that may have caused your heart to weaken.  

During the examination, the physician uses a stethoscope to listen for an irregular or very quick heartbeat, and can also listen to your chest for the sounds of fluid around your lungs or the distinct sounds of a faulty heart valve. Your physician may order a chest x-ray to see if your heart is enlarged and detect any fluid around the lungs. An EKG (electrocardiogram) can be used to check for an irregular heartbeat or prior heart attack. Echocardiography (sonography of the heart) can be used to see the structure and movement of your heart. Other tests such as stress tests, holter monitor, nuclear scans and cardiac cath can be used as well depending upon the need. Your physician uses the information learned at your visit in conjunction with your test results to develop a treatment plan. 

The treatment for CHF depends on the cause and severity of your condition. It is best treated when the underlying cause of your CHF is identified. The treatment plan is designed to relieve some of your symptoms and help make you more comfortable, thus improving your quality of life. Your treatment plan may include medications to help your heart work better, rest periods during the day to give your heart a break, dietary changes to reduce the amount of salt and sodium you ingest, physical activity as pre-scribed by your doctor (mild exercise, strength training or cardiac rehab for example), lifestyle changes such as limiting how much alcohol you drink, quitting smoking, learning how to control your high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels to name a few, and weighing yourself daily to watch for fluid buildup. 

The Heart Center of North Texas CHF Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Clinic visits are by appointment only.


HOSPITAL PRIVILEGES:   •  Denton Regional Medical Center   •  Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
   •  Muenster Memorial Hospital   •  North Texas Medical Center

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