Heart Disease Expert Forum
My granfathers heart only works 15%
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My granfathers heart only works 15%

My grandfather was told his heart is only working 15 % on top of that his lungs are retaining fluids and I think the doctors said food. He was going to have surgery for his heart but the doctor said since his lungs were retaining fluid then nothing else could be done.

How can we help him please give some advise
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Heart failure, where the heart works less than it is supposed to, can be treated with medications firstly, and surgery or other interventions and/or devices depending on the cause. Sometimes, with medications, the heart can work a little bit better, but do not expect it to get back to completely normal levels. Causes of heart failure can include artery blockages (which can sometimes be treated with bypass surgery or stents, along with medications), or non-ischemic (non artery related) causes, for which the treatment is typically just medications.

If he was going to have surgery for his heart, it is likely that they thought they could help his heart function long-term if he had surgery. However, if he is retaining fluid in his lungs (called pulmonary edema) due to heart failure, it can make surgery difficult or impossible because he would not do well after the surgery. Most concerning is that you say he may have food in his lungs as well... that is NOT due to heart failure, but if true is due to aspiration (breathing the food into his trachea and lungs rather than it going down his esophagus to his stomach). If he has aspirated, that is an infection risk, and can make him very sick very fast, and surgery would not be a good idea when that is happening because it would make surgery hard, make post-surgery difficult, and make him coming off ventilator after surgery hard, and he may not suffer severe infection.

You should discuss with his doctors what is causing the heart failure, why they want to do surgery and what they plan to do, and what medications to use, and if there are other issues which will limit the ability to do surgery, and if the issues can be corrected would he then be able to have surgery.
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