Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a top Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals. Our innovations in virtually every area of clinical care, along with our history of breakthrough discoveries and medical firsts, have improved the health of people around the world.
Brigham and Women's Hospital
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115 Phone: 617-732-5500
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What is an ultrafast computed tomography (CT) scan of the heart?
An ultrafast computed tomography (CT) scan is a procedure used to diagnose heart disease. Ultrafast CT, or electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT), can take multiple images of the heart within the time of a single heartbeat, thus providing much more detail about the heart's function and...
When you take diuretics, or water pills, you urinate more frequently. Diuretics help your kidneys remove salt and water from your bloodstream and decrease the water in your body. Three good things happen when you lower extra water in your body if you have heart failure:
What happens during an ultrafast computed tomography (CT) scan?
An ultrafast computed tomography (CT), a procedure used to diagnose heart disease, may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your physician's practices.
Generally, an ultrafast CT follows this process:...
How much should I exercise if I have heart failure?
The goal for most people with heart failure is to do 30 minutes of exercise each day. Remember to start slowly. Start by exercising 5 to 10 minutes a day. Increase the time of your exercise until you reach 30 minutes a day. When you have finished exercising, you should feel like you could...
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors help to prevent weakening and scarring of the heart, and may also protect your kidneys and blood vessels. These medications "vasodilate" or relax your blood vessels and may lower your blood pressure.
How do I reduce sodium in my diet if I have heart failure?
When you eat sodium or salt, your body holds on to water, which can make your heart failure worse. Eating low sodium (low salt) food can make you feel better. A low sodium diet means eating between 2,000 and 3,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. Ask your doctor or nurse what is right for...
How can I limit the fluids I drink if I have heart failure?
If you have heart failure, your doctor or nurse may want you to measure all of the fluids that you drink including anything that becomes liquid at room temperature. If it melts, like ice cream, it is a liquid. Ask your doctor or nurse what your fluid limit is.
What is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)?
Some patients with heart failure have dangerously fast heartbeats called "ventricular tachycardia" or "ventricular fibrillation." This fast heartbeat can cause serious symptoms such as fainting or even death. An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is like a pacemaker that can be...
A normal heart sends electrical signals to both lower chambers or "ventricles" of the heart to make them pump at the same time. Sometimes in heart failure patients, the two chambers do not pump together. A special pacemaker called Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is a small batte...
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is a procedure used to treat an aneurysm (abnormal enlargement) of the abdominal aorta. Repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm may be performed surgically through an open incision or in a minimally invasive procedure called endovascular aneurysm repair...
An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also called AAA or triple A, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body) resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the normal diameter (width).
The aorta extends upward from the top of...
A Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) is a mechanical pump inserted into your body to improve blood flow. If you have severe heart failure, your heart is unable to pump enough blood to your body's organs and tissues, and a VAD may be needed. You will need open heart surgery to implant the mec...
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