Feet edema and swelling characterize congestive heart failure. Edema is the abnormal collection of fluid in body tissues. In congestive heart failure, the heart weakens and pumps blood less effectively, and as a result, there will be a fluid build up. Due to the effects of gravity, edema is prominent in the feet and legs. However, if the fluid builds up quickly, it may accumulate in the lungs, as well. If heart failure affects the right side of the heart, edema (swelling) can develop in the abdomen, too. Treating the underlying cause of the edema (heart disease) will treat the swelling. Doctors may treat congestive heart failure with vasodilator and diuretic medications.
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