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    Advances in Heart Failure Treatment

    New Surgeries and Tests

    Another advance is reconstruction surgery, which can reshape your heart so it pumps blood easier. Your doctor may be able to repair your its valves. This can make your heart smaller so it works better.

    New tests can help doctors spot heart failure earlier or track your progress, Lowes says. Genetic testing may predict who’s at risk for the condition or other problems, like atrial fibrillation, that may increase your odds of heart failure.

    Newer blood tests can help your doctor make an early diagnosis and see if your drugs are causing problems. One such test is to check your level of troponin. The more of this you have, the more damage has been done to your heart.

    No matter which treatments you use, you can do a lot to live longer and have a better quality of life, says Mary Norine Walsh, MD, medical director of the heart failure and cardiac transplantation programs at St. Vincent Heart Center of Indiana.

    “The first step is taking medications as directed, on time and every day,” she says. “Most patients can monitor their weight every day to help check if their fluid status is changing. All patients can benefit from a diet that’s low in sodium, too.

    “All of these steps can have a big impact on your quality of life with heart failure.”

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    Reviewed on May 26, 2016

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