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Heart Failure Specialist

Heart Rhythm Associates, LLC

Van H. De Bruyn, MD, FACC, FHRS

General Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology located in Little Rock, AR

Heart failure is a serious, chronic condition requiring expert medical care. With more than 20 years of specialized cardiology training, Van H. De Bruyn, MD, opened Heart Rhythm Associates LLC to provide the men and women of Central Arkansas with the highest quality cardiac care available in Little Rock and the surrounding area. For expert and compassionate medical attention in an environment you can trust, call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Heart Failure Q & A

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a serious problem affecting your heart muscle and its ability to pump blood throughout your body. Also known as congestive heart failure, this condition is typically the result of conditions like coronary artery disease that leave your heart weak or stiff and unable to pump properly.

Among the several conditions that can lead to heart failure are:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiomyopathy – damage to the heart muscle
  • Having faulty heart valves
  • Myocarditis – inflammation of your heart muscle
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Arrhythmias
  • Heart attacks
  • Diseases like over- or underactive thyroid and diabetes

Several factors can also increase your risk of heart failure, including medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and some prescription anti-inflammatories), sleep disorders like sleep apnea, consuming tobacco or excess alcohol, and being overweight or obese.

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

Heart failure can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Swelling in your ankles, feet, and legs
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Wheezing or coughing with phlegm
  • Increased urination at night
  • Chest pain
  • Sudden and severe shortness of breath

All of these symptoms can indicate a serious heart condition, so it’s important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

How is heart failure diagnosed and treated?

Dr. De Bruyn performs a comprehensive medical exam, discusses your symptoms, and reviews your medical history to diagnose heart disease. During this evaluation, he also evaluates factors that can increase your risk of this condition and looks for signs of heart failure.

Based on your exam, Dr. De Bruyn could also recommend:

  • Blood tests to check for signs of diseases affecting your heart
  • Chest X-rays to evaluate your heart and lungs
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure electrical activity in your heart
  • Echocardiogram to look for physical abnormalities in your heart and how it’s pumping
  • Stress tests to gauge how your heart responds to physical activity

In some cases, heart damage leading to heart failure is irreversible, but Dr. De Bruyn can provide a variety of treatments to help manage your condition and ease your symptoms.

Dr. De Bruyn provides personalized management techniques based on the condition causing your heart failure and the extent of your disease. This can include medications, surgery or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), and lifestyle modifications like following a healthy diet, maintaining your weight, and being more active.

Call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.