Doctors Urged To Tell Patients: Implant May Not Make Them Feel Better

Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2012 --- 7:35 a.m.

The American Heart Association is urging doctors to talk more honestly with people who have very weak hearts and are considering pumps, pacemakers, new valves or procedures to open clogged arteries.

The new advice aims to help people with advanced heart failure understand that an implanted device may not actually make them feel better. Heart failure occurs when the heart is too weak to pump enough blood, making people very tired and causing fluid to back up in the lungs.

Doctors may suggest a heart pump, defibrillator or other treatment. Sometimes a device prolongs life but doesn't provide a better quality of life.

The new guidance came out Monday and was endorsed by several other medical groups.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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