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Heart & Cardiology/Congestive Heart Failure


My grandmother had scarlet fever as a child.  In her 80's she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  Several times she was rushed to the hospitial with heart problems.  They would put a catheter in and say they needed to get the fluid out of her.  Her legs would be all puffy in the begining and would end up less puffy in the end.

My uncle's wife thinks this is because the legs hold extra water and Gramma needed to quit drinking as much.  If she didn't drink as much, then her legs wouldn't have to hold the extra water and she wouldn't have heart problems.

I tried telling Gramma that it's wrong, but she'd ask "well then why do my legs puff up"?

I didn't know.

Why did her legs puff up when she was having arithmia and heart attacks?  Why did they go down after a cathater was in place?  Why did they put the cathater in when it wasn't bladder of kidney problems - it was heart problems?

Hi Tia,
Read about heart failure here. You'll find that its causes include damage caused by previous heart attacks:
Your GM was treated for congestive heart failure:
Treatment indeed often includes limited fluid intake as well as the use diuretics to increase urination. In sick patients, a catheter is often used.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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