Why does heart failure lead to edema in the ankles?

Heart and kidneys. In the patient with congestive heart failure, the body senses that the heart is not working correctly. It sends a message the kidneys to hold onto salt and water that the patient eats and drinks. This excess salt and water builds up and becomes apparent in the legs, belly, and lungs.
Heart failure. Heart failure causes edema because they heart cannot pump the blood delivered to it. This inability to pump the blood allows the blood to pool in some areas of the body and the ankles are one of them. Others include the abdomen and sacrum.

Related Questions

Had chest x ray and blood work and ekg 1 month ago. All normal. Now have developed pitting edema in legs and ankles. Could this be heart failure?

Edema. Right heart failure is one of the causes of lower extremity edema. There are others such as venous incompetence or obstruction, protein deficiency and others.
Is this new? If you have developed sudden swelling in both legs, you need to be checked right away to find out what is going on. As Dr. Weisberger says, CHF is just one of the problems. We don't know what meds you are on, or whether you drink alcohol or smoke, or take any meds, so it's not possible to say what else it could be. Since CHF is just one of the possibilities, and a very serious, one, get seen.

How could a right sided heart failure lead to swelling of the ankles but left sided would not?

The right side of. Heart receives blood from the body so if it is not functioning properly it won't be able to receive well and hence there will be a back flow and this usually ends up in the lower extremity as gravity will then rule. The left side of the heart allows the blood to flow to the rest of the body so if its not functioning it won't make it out or pump it. (Rather simplistic explanation, but hope you get.

How long does it take for pulmonary edema to worsen and lead to heart failure?

Backwards. Pulmonary edema doesn't cause heart failure, it is one symptom of heart failure (although other things can cause pulmonary edema as well).

What kind of edema if client has heart failure?

Edema & HF. Depends on the severity of the heart failure. Edema can involve the lower extremities and progress to involve the abdominal organs causing a sensation of abdominal bloating and fullness and can ultimately cause pulmonary edema resulting in shortness of breath of variable acuity depending on the degree of fluid accumulation.