Heart Failure Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Nunzio Gaglianello, MD, cardiologist, talks about the different types of heart failure, as well as heart failure symptoms and common risk factors. Dr. Gaglianello also discusses why you should seek treatment from the Froedtert & MCW heart and vascular team.

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, develops when the heart is not pumping as well as it should and can no longer meet the body's needs. It's a serious condition, however, treatment options are available.

What are the types of heart failure?

There are essentially two types of heart failure.

  1. The first is systolic heart failure - where your heart isn't squeezing strong and isn't pumping enough blood forward.
  2. The second is diastolic heart failure where essentially your heart is still squeezing normally - it just can't fill appropriately, and it's stiff.

Who's at risk and what are some early symptoms of heart failure?

People who are at most risk for heart failure are:

  • Those who are getting older
  • People who have coronary artery disease or blockages in the arteries of their heart
  • People who have valvular heart disease
  • People who have diabetes
  • People who have a genetic predisposition to having heart failure, like a family history

What are some early symptoms of heart failure?

Symptoms of heart failure, particularly early on, can be:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Not being able to walk on a flat surface or difficulty climbing a flight of stairs
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Lying flat at night and waking up short of breath

Why should someone choose the Froedtert & MCW health network for heart failure treatment?

Our team consists of transplant and heart failure experts with more than 20 years of experience, and we can treat the entire gamut of heart failure. That starts from medical management of heart failure. That also includes remote monitoring for heart failure. We also have clinical trials that patients can get enrolled into for heart failure, and we can also offer cardiac transplantation for patients.