Heart failure is a chronic, progressive disease where the heart muscle is unable to pump enough to distribute blood flow to meet the body’s needs. This disease affects nearly five million Americans with 550,000 new cases of heart failure reported each year. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped working; it means that it is not pumping as well as it should be. In left-sided heart failure, the left side of the heart must work harder to pump the same amount of blood. This can occur when the heart’s left ventricle loses the ability to contract normally or when the heart muscle becomes stiff causing the left ventricle to lose its ability to relax normally. Symptoms of heart failure can include shortness of breath, fatigue, rapid or irregular heartbeats and dizziness among others. Heart disease has no cure but can be treated with changes to your lifestyle, use of medications and surgery, if necessary, to improve symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.
Cardiac rehabilitation is one of the most effective approaches for modifying the risk of heart disease and preventing future cardiac events for patients diagnosed with heart failure. It provides a comprehensive process of medical evaluation, prescribed exercise and risk factor modification. This is done through programs of supervised exercise and lifestyle interventions designed to modify the risk of heart disease and help heart patients get stronger and healthier. It usually begins within the first six weeks following a heart patient’s discharge from the hospital and aims at achieving clinical stability, improving overall functioning and helping patients maintain their independence.
Take this opportunity to have your questions answered about heart failure by interventional cardiologist and heart failure specialist, Viviana Navas, MD, Randall Starling, MD, MPH, cardiologist and Head of the Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine, and also learn more about the advantages of cardiac rehabilitation by the Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Director and interventional cardiologist, David Wolinsky, MD.
Viviana Navas, MD is a cardiologist with a specialization in heart failure in Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiology. Her specialty interests include cardiovascular imaging, clinical cardiology, congestive heart failure, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and valvular heart disease.
David Wolinsky, MD is also a cardiologist in Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiology. Dr. Wolinsky is also the Director of Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program located in Weston, FL. He is a champion for community education for heart disease and his areas of expertise include nuclear cardiology, heart failure and prevention.
Randall Starling, MD, MPH, is Head of the Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine, the Medical Director of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and a Staff Cardiologist in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. He also serves as Vice Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine, Operations. He specializes in congestive heart failure, cardiac transplantation, cardiomyopathy and mechanical circulatory support devices. Dr. Starling was appointed to the Cleveland Clinic in 1995 as a Staff Physician and Director of the Heart Transplant Medical Services. He has a joint appointment as a Staff Physician in Cleveland Clinic’s Multi-Organ Transplant Center.
To make an appointment with Viviana Navas, MD, David Wolinsky, MD or any of the other specialists in our Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic Florida, please call 877.463.2010. You can also visit us online at vanity URL: www.clevelandclinicflorida.org