Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heart Failure Health Center

Font Size

Heart Failure - Other Treatment

Pacemakers

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) uses a biventricular pacemaker, which makes the heart's lower chambers (ventricles) pump together. This can help your heart pump blood better. This type of pacemaker can help you feel better so you can be more active. It also can help keep you out of the hospital and help you live longer.

Heart Failure: Should I Get a Pacemaker (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy)?

If you get a pacemaker, you have to be careful not to get too close to some devices with strong magnetic or electrical fields. These include MRI machines, battery-powered cordless power tools, and CB or ham radios. But most everyday appliances are safe.

actionset.gif Heart Problems: Living With a Pacemaker

A pacemaker may be used alone or along with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) for heart failure.

heartfailure_30337884.jpg

One Woman's Story:

Joyce, 83

Getting a pacemaker has "made all the difference in the world. I could work in my yard and walk my dog."—Joyce

Read about how a pacemaker helped Joyce be more active.

Implantable defibrillators (ICDs)

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can prevent sudden death from an abnormal heart rhythm and may help you live longer. An ICD checks the heart for very fast and deadly heart rhythms. If the heart goes into one of these rhythms, the ICD shocks it to stop the deadly rhythm and returns the heart to a normal rhythm.

Heart Failure: Should I Get an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)?

If you get an ICD, you have to be careful not to get too close to some devices with strong magnetic or electrical fields. These include MRI machines, battery-powered cordless power tools, and CB or ham radios. But most everyday appliances are safe.

actionset.gif Heart Problems: Living With an ICD

An ICD may be used alone or along with a pacemaker for heart failure.

Ventricular assist devices (VADs)

Ventricular assist devices (VADs), also known as heart pumps, may be placed into the chest to help the heart pump more blood. VADs camera.gif can keep people alive until a donor heart is available for transplant. In some cases, VADs may also be used as an alternative to heart transplant for long-term treatment. VADs are used in people who have severe heart failure.

Intra-aortic balloon pump

An intra-aortic balloon pump is sometimes used to help the heart pump more blood during sudden heart failure.

Supplements

You may still hear about supplements that might improve heart failure symptoms. But no supplement or vitamin has been shown definitely to relieve heart failure or help you live longer.

Examples include coenzyme Q10, fish oil, and hawthorn.

  • Only some of the studies of coenzyme Q10 showed that it helps heart failure symptoms.2
  • Fish oil supplements have not been shown to definitely help heart failure patients feel better or live longer. But eating fish that have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, like tuna and salmon, is part of a heart-healthy diet.
  • Hawthorn is an herb that is sometimes used in Europe and Asia to try to increase blood flow to the heart.

Talk to your doctor before you take any over-the-counter medicine or supplement. They are used along with medical treatments for heart failure, not instead of treatment.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 08, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Man holding hand on chest
SLIDESHOW
Salt Shockers
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
Slideshow
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW
 

Mechanical Heart
Article
Omega 3 Overview Slideshow
Slideshow
 
Atrial Fibrillation Guide
Slideshow
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 

Compressed heart
Article
FAQ Heart Failure
Article
 
Cholesterol Confusion
Health Check
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Slideshow
 

WebMD Special Sections