Congestive Heart Failure Specialist

Park Slope Cardiac and Diagnostic Services

Ijaz Ahmad, MD, FACC

Cardiologist & Primary Care Physician located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

Congestive heart failure is a serious condition, but it can be managed. At Park Slope Cardiac and Diagnostic Services, Dr. Ijaz Ahmad helps patients in Park Slope and throughout Brooklyn, New York, get the treatment they need to manage CHF and improve their quality of life.

Congestive Heart Failure Q & A

What is congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition that develops when the heart does not pump blood as efficiently as it should. CHF can develop as a result of another underlying disease like high blood pressure, or it can occur when the heart muscle is very stiff, preventing it from contracting and relaxing normally.

What kinds of symptoms does CHF cause?

Depending on the underlying cause and other factors, congestive heart failure can occur very quickly (acute CHF), or it may develop more slowly. Symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath, which can occur when being very active or when lying still
    swelling in the feet or ankles or other fluid retention
  • chronic fatigue or weakness
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • persistent cough
  • increased need to urinate

Not every person with CHF will experience all of these symptoms.

Am I at risk for congestive heart failure?

Several risk factors have been associated with CHF, and while having one risk factor can increase the risk of developing CHF, having more than one of the following factors significantly raises that risk:

  • coronary artery disease
  • high blood pressure
  • previous heart attack
  • irregular heartbeat
  • diabetes, as well as some medications, used to treat diabetes
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • congenital heart defects
  • valve disease
  • alcohol abuse
  • use of tobacco products
  • obesity

Some viral infections can also increase the risk of developing CHF.

How is congestive heart failure diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis of CHF begins with a personal and family medical history to look for risk factors combined with a physical examination. Echocardiograms, electrocardiograms (EKGs), CT scans, chest X-rays, blood tests, and other tests and assessments may also be ordered or performed. Cardiac stress tests are also commonly used to help diagnose CHF as well as manage treatment of the condition. In some cases, an angiogram may be used to evaluate the heart’s structure and function, using an injected dye to evaluate the flow of blood as well as the heart’s movements. CHF can often be managed with medications and lifestyle changes, but in some cases, surgery may be needed to repair the damage.

Accepted Insurance Providers

All insurances accepted. Please contact the office for more information on insurance coverage.

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
Empire Plan
Fidelis Care (NY)
Health First
Memorial Hermann