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Heart Failure Specialist

Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates

Electrophysiology & Cardiology located in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Suncity, Dewey & Prescott Valley, AZ

Heart failure affects 12% of adults aged 60-79 and 25% of those over the age of 80. At Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates, Akash Makkar, MD, and Mohamad Abdelrahman, MD, have extensive experience helping adults of all ages live their best life after being diagnosed with heart failure. They offer today’s most advanced therapies to support your heart, alleviate symptoms, and slow down disease progression. If you have questions or you need help for heart failure, book an appointment online or call one of the offices in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Sun City, Dewey, or Prescott Valley, Arizona, today.

Heart Failure Q & A

What is heart failure?

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, occurs when you have a weak heart that can’t pump enough blood. You can develop this problem on only the left side of your heart, only the right side, or both sides.

What causes heart failure?

Heart failure develops gradually as inflammation and chronic diseases damage the muscles, leaving them too weak or stiff to function normally. Conditions that can lead to heart failure include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertension
  • Heart valve disease
  • Myocarditis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Obstructive sleep apnea also increases your risk of developing heart failure.

What symptoms develop due to heart failure?

Though you may have different symptoms depending on which side of your heart is affected, you can develop any of the following:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath during normal daily movement
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet  
  • Swelling in your abdomen
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Persistent cough that’s worse when lying down
  • Increased need to urinate at night
  • Loss of appetite

Swelling in your legs, ankles, feet, and abdomen occurs as fluids build up in your body.

How is heart failure diagnosed?

After performing a thorough physical exam, Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates may perform one or more diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your symptoms. 

In addition to blood tests, a cardiac MRI, Doppler ultrasound, or a chest X-ray, you may need a stress test, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, coronary angiogram, or cardiac catheterization.  

How is heart failure treated?

Your personalized treatment plan at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates is designed to treat any underlying conditions like hypertension, reduce your symptoms, and stop your heart failure from getting worse.

You may need treatments such as:

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes may include following a heart-healthy diet, getting more exercise, losing weight, and stopping smoking, if needed.


Numerous medications are prescribed to help patients with heart failure. For example, you may need medication to lower your blood pressure, reduce blood volume, relax blood vessels, slow your heart rate, or strengthen your heartbeat.

Surgery and medical devices

If your heart failure results from blocked coronary arteries or faulty valves, Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates may recommend a surgical procedure to repair those problems.

You may also need a device, such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator or cardiac resynchronization therapy, to stabilize your heart’s electrical system. Another device, called a ventricular assist device, helps pump blood from your heart to the rest of your body.

If you develop symptoms of heart failure, call Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates or book an appointment online today for expert treatment.