Many factors must be considered before a patient may begin heart failure treatment. The cause of the patient's heart failure, for example, must first be established, as well as the severity and duration of symptoms, and other co-existing conditions. After assessing such factors, the doctor will decide on the best treatment option for the patient. Heart failure treatment aims to reduce the severity of the patient's symptoms and increase life expectancy by focusing on suppressing or decelerating the development of changes in the structure or functioning of the heart, and also by protecting against other complications which may arise as the condition progresses.
Treatment options include:
- Medication, such as diuretic drugs, drugs to reduce blood pressure, drugs to increase heart function, hormone therapy, drugs to treat coronary artery disease, antiplatelet drugs, drugs to treat irregular heart rate, etc.
- Use of an automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) or a permanent pacemaker implantation to help the lower left and right heart chambers contract together. These two treatments may also be combined simultaneously.
- Coronary bypass surgery (CABG) or angioplasty to help improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Heart transplant surgery or heart valve surgery.