Heart Failure | Congestive Heart Failure

At MaineHealth, patients with heart failure, including congestive heart failure (CHF), get comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions. We bring expert cardiovascular care to community hospitals, so that patients can get their heart care close to home. Our medical teams offer skilled care and advanced medical technology for patients needing cardiac procedures.

What is heart failure?

Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped. Heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping like it should. Sometimes heart failure is caused by a weakened heart muscle. Your heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood to all the organs in your body.  Sometimes heart failure is caused by the heart muscle being strong but stiff, or when there is a serious problem with a valve.  A consequence of heart failure is retention of fluid congestion, which is called congestive heart failure.

Heart failure can be caused by:

See your doctor for a routine heart checkup

While there is no cure for heart failure there are many treatments available that can help you feel better.  Heart failure can be managed with medicine and a healthy lifestyle. Check with your primary care doctor or family healthcare provider for a routine heart check or to get a referral to a heart specialist called a cardiologist.

Adults with newly diagnosed heart conditions, along with those with heart disease and vascular disease, should see a cardiologist.

Learn More About Heart Failure

Learn the signs of heart failure and about Maine Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Institute Heart Failure Program.

Heart Failure Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of heart failure can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing when lying down
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling in the feet, legs, ankles or stomach
  • Feeling tired and rundown

Heart Failure Diagnosis

Diagnosing heart failure

Your doctor or healthcare provider will ask for your medical history, family history and symptoms. Your doctors also will check your blood pressure, listen to your heart and lungs, and check your weight. You may also have the following screenings:

Heart Failure Treatments

Heart failure treatment

  • Medication

  • Daily physical activity

  • Eat the right amount of salt

  • Weigh yourself every day

  • Keep track of symptoms daily to report back to your doctor

  • Get treatment for the cause of your heart failure.

Ventricular Assist Device & Heart Transplant 

Maine Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Institute offers a Heart Failure Program. The program provides advanced care for heart failure patients, including use of pumps that do some of the work of the heart called ventricular assist devices (VAD) and heart transplant. This specialized program lets heart failure patients stay close to home for coordinated care of all their treatments and testing.

A multidisciplinary team of leading cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, and specially trained nurses at Maine Medical Center partners with Heart Transplant Centers including Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center in Boston for heart transplant surgery. Maine patients who are waiting for a heart transplant can receive their regular treatment and testing at the Cardiovascular Institute.

Find Cardiac Rehab Services Near You

Cardiac rehab services are medically supervised programs to improve your heart health.

Learn more

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