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Heart failure is a serious and progressive condition that occurs when our heart fails to pump enough blood. It can occur suddenly or may be a long term condition. The symptom includes shortness of breath, coughing, tiredness, fluid retention with swelling of legs or abdomen and unable to do activity. There has been estimated 26 million known cases of heart failure worldwide and many undiagnosed cases reported every year. According to world heart foundation, they have estimated 1 in every 5 people will develop heart failure in their lifetime.
Sedentary lifestyle, raising stress levels and high consumption of salt, sugar, and fat in the diet is taking toll on youngsters in India. According to international congestive heart failure study, the mean age of heart failure patients in India is 59 years which is approximately 10 years younger than patients from western countries. It has been emphasized again and again heart failure impacts not only productive years of life but also puts additional socioeconomic burden on patients and families.
This condition can be brought under control by addressing behavioural risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, obesity, physical inactivity and reducing global prevalence of hypertension. There has been significant advances in the management of heart failure other than medical management and alteration of risk factors like cardiac resynchronization therapy, pace makers, implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
The mortality with heart failure condition is about 25 - 50 %. This dismal outlook especially in severely symptomatic patients needs surgical management. The conventional cardiac surgery like coronary revascularization, valve replacement, ventricular restoration has very little to offer. There has been significant evolution and effort to improve survival of the patient with advanced heart failure like ventricular assist devices, total artificial heart and finally heart transplant. Cardiac transplant is presently the optimal surgical treatment for heart failure with good survival percentage.
Consultant Cardiovascular Surgeon
KIMS ICON Hospitals.