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Heart Failure

Heart failure (congestive heart failure) is America’s silent epidemic affecting nearly five million Americans of all ages and is responsible for more hospitalizations than all forms of cancer combined. Over 400,000 new cases of heart failure will be diagnosed in the next year. Yet many people with heart failure are not aware that they have it. Some of the most common symptoms of heart failure include feeling tired or short of breath which are often mistaken for normal signs of getting older.

Heart failure does not mean that the heart is about to stop working or that you are about to die. Heart failure is a common condition that usually develops slowly as the heart muscle weakens and needs to work harder to keep blood flowing through the body.

Valley Health’s Heart Failure Clinic, located in the Heart & Vascular Center at Winchester Medical Center, can assist you in the management of heart failure. Being followed in the clinic allows patients to be monitored closely for signs and symptoms that may otherwise cause a hospital admission. Our goal is to see patients as often as needed to keep them out of the hospital and to improve the patient and family members’ quality of life.

Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure
  • Prior heart attack
  • Damage to the heart valves
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of enlarged heart


  • Shortness of breath, which can happen from mild activity
  • Difficulty breathing when lying down
  • Waking up breathless in the middle of the night
  • Weight gain with swelling in the legs and ankles from fluid retention
  • Tiring easily
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Dry, hacking cough when lying flat in bed


  • Medications are available to relieve your symptoms and to help keep your heart failure from getting worse
  • For certain heart failure patients, the CardioMEMS Heart Failure System may be recommended to help manage their condition
  • Valley Health currently is enrolling qualified heart failure patients into the Ancora Heart CORCINCH-HF Study, a randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the AccuCinch® Ventricular Restoration System. Ask your provider if you are a candidate for this trial.


  • Eat a heart healthy low salt diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Weigh yourself daily and report increases in weight to your doctor
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol

Early diagnosis and treatment are very important. Today, doctors can do more than ever, so many people with heart failure can live normal lives and be less at risk for being hospitalized. Only your doctor can tell you if you have heart failure.

Heart Failure Clinic

Winchester Medical Center Heart & Vascular Center
1880 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA 22601

For more information about heart failure, call the clinic at 540-536-4555.

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