Congestive Heart Failure Specialist

Modern Heart and Vascular Institute

Rajiv Agarwal, MD

Cardiovascular Specialist & Board Certified Cardiologist located in Humble, TX & Katy, TX

More than 6 million Americans have congestive heart failure, which is a serious heart condition that affects your heart’s blood-pumping abilities and may cause symptoms, such as shortness of breath, that affect your quality of life. At Modern Heart and Vascular Institute in Humble, TX, Katy, TX & Cleveland, TX, cardiovascular specialist Rajiv Agarwal, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of congestive heart failure and develops personalized treatment plans to improve your symptoms and quality of life. Call one of our offices or book an appointment online today.

Congestive Heart Failure Q & A

What is congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure — also referred to as heart failure — is a serious condition that affects your heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. With congestive heart failure, either your heart can’t fill with enough blood, your heart isn’t strong enough to pump the blood, or a combination of both. 

You may be at risk of developing congestive heart failure if you have an underlying condition that may damage or weaken your heart, such as:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Faulty heart valves


You may also be at risk of developing congestive heart failure if you have diabetes, which increases your risk of developing both coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. 

What are congestive heart failure symptoms?

Congestive heart failure symptoms develop due to a buildup of fluids. Your symptoms may be acute or chronic. Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the ankles or legs


Initial symptoms of congestive heart failure typically include shortness of breath and fatigue after physical exertion, such as climbing up the stairs. As your heart muscle weakens, your symptoms may worsen and you may feel short of breath after getting dressed or even when lying down. 

How is congestive heart failure diagnosed?

At Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, Dr. Agarwal conducts comprehensive examinations to diagnose congestive heart failure. During your exam, he reviews your medical and family history, asks detailed questions about your symptoms, and performs a physical exam.

No single test can diagnose congestive heart failure. However, based on the information gathered during your exam, Dr. Agarwal may recommend further testing to assess heart health and function, such as:

  • Blood work
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echo-vascular stress test
  • CT scan
  • PET scan


Getting an early diagnosis and treatment plan in place may prevent your condition from worsening. 

How is congestive heart failure treated?

Dr. Agarwal develops individualized treatment plans for congestive heart failure based on the underlying cause of your heart condition, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Diet modification
  • Exercise program
  • Disease-specific medication
  • Help with managing your high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Diuretics to reduce fluid buildup


Depending on the underlying cause of your congestive heart failure, Dr. Agarwal may also suggest the placement of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). 

To schedule an appointment with the cardiovascular specialist for diagnosis and management of your congestive heart failure, call Modern Heart and Vascular Institute or book an appointment online.