You are here:

Heart & Cardiology/Congestive Heart Failure

Advertisement


Question
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?

Answer
Hi Tia,
Read about heart failure here. You'll find that its causes include damage caused by previous heart attacks:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-information/heart-failure
Your GM was treated for congestive heart failure:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-information/heart-failure#Congestion
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
http://www.cardiachealth.org/

Heart & Cardiology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


doctort@cardiachealth.org

Expertise

Expert opinions on cardiac, thoracic and vascular diseases

Experience

Over 30 years experience of dealing as an expert with cardiac, thoracic and vascular diseases

Education/Credentials
Board certified cardio-thoracic surgeon

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.