Reference Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) uses a biventricular pacemaker, which makes the heart's lower chambers (ventricles) pump in the right order. This type of pacemaker can help you feel better so you can be more active. It also can help keep you out of the hospital and help you live longer.
- Opens New Window Heart Failure: Should I Get a Pacemaker (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy)? Opens New Window
If you get a pacemaker, you have to be careful not to get too close to some devices with strong magnetic or electrical fields. These include Reference MRI Opens New Window machines, battery-powered cordless power tools, and CB or ham radios. But most everyday appliances are safe.
A pacemaker may be used alone or along with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) for heart failure.
One Woman's Story:
Getting a pacemaker has "made all the difference in the world. I could work in my yard and walk my dog."—Joyce
Implantable defibrillators (ICDs)
Reference Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can prevent sudden death from an abnormal heart rhythm and may help you live longer. An ICD checks the heart for very fast and deadly heart rhythms. If the heart goes into one of these rhythms, the ICD shocks it to stop the deadly rhythm and returns the heart to a normal rhythm.
- Opens New Window Heart Failure: Should I Get an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)? Opens New Window
If you get an ICD, you have to be careful not to get too close to some devices with strong magnetic or electrical fields. These include Reference MRI Opens New Window machines, battery-powered cordless power tools, and CB or ham radios. But most everyday appliances are safe.
An ICD may be used alone or along with a pacemaker for heart failure.
Ventricular assist devices (VADs)
Reference Ventricular assist devices (VADs), also known as heart pumps, may be placed into the chest to help the heart pump more blood. Reference VADs Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window can keep people alive until a donor heart is available for transplant. In some cases, VADs may also be used as an alternative to heart transplant for long-term treatment. VADs are used in people who have severe heart failure.
Intra-aortic balloon pump
You may still hear about supplements that might improve heart failure symptoms. But no supplement or vitamin has been shown definitely to relieve heart failure or help you live longer.
Examples include coenzyme Q10, fish oil, and hawthorn.
- Only some of the studies of coenzyme Q10 showed that it helps heart failure symptoms.Reference 2
- Fish oil supplements have not been shown to definitely help heart failure patients feel better or live longer. But eating fish that have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, like tuna and salmon, is part of a heart-healthy diet.
- Hawthorn is an herb that is sometimes used in Europe and Asia to try to increase blood flow to the heart.
Talk to your doctor before you take any over-the-counter medicine or supplement. They are used along with medical treatments for heart failure, not instead of treatment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
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