Heart Failure Treatment
How Is Heart Failure Treated?
There are many ways to treat heart failure. Most people start with medication and changes to their lifestyle. If it gets worse, centers that specialize in treating heart failure can offer more options, like surgery.
What Drugs Are Used to Treat Heart Failure?
Taking your heart failure medications as prescribed is one of the most important things you can do to help your condition. The more you know about your medications and how they work, the easier it will be for you to stay on track.
Common types of drugs used to treat heart failure include:
- Aldosterone inhibitors
- ACE inhibitors
- ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers)
- ARNIs (angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors)
Blood vessel dilators
Calcium channel blockers (unless you have systolic heart failure)
Heart pump medication
Potassium or magnesium
- Selective sinus node inhibitors
What Surgical Procedures Are Used to Treat Heart Failure?
Surgery is aimed at stopping further damage to the heart and improving the heart's function. Heart failure surgeries include:
Bypass surgery: The most common surgery for heart failure is bypass surgery to route blood around a blocked artery.
Heart valve surgery: As heart failure gets worse, the valves that normally help direct the flow of blood through the heart may no longer completely close, allowing blood to flow backward. The valves can be repaired or replaced.
Infarct exclusion surgery (modified Dor or Dor procedure): When a heart attack happens in the left ventricle (the lower left chamber of the heart), a scar forms. The scarred area is thin and can bulge out with each beat. The bulge is called an aneurysm. A heart surgeon can remove the scar tissue or the aneurysm.
Left ventricular assist device (LVAD): An LVAD helps your heart pump blood through your body. It allows you to be mobile, and sometimes you can return home while you wait for a heart transplant.
Heart transplant: This is done when heart failure is so severe that it does not respond to all other treatments.
How Can I Keep My Heart Failure From Worsening?
Monitor your symptoms. Check for changes in your fluid status by weighing yourself every day. Check for swelling, too.