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The goal of heart failure treatment is to improve heart function, control excess water and salt retention, and reduce further risk of heart damage. Keep in mind that heart damage that has already occurred cannot be reversed.

In general, heart failure is treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. These treatments help reduce the strain on your heart and prevent further damage.

If your heart failure cannot be managed with lifestyle changes or medications, you may need a surgical procedure. Surgical procedures are used to implant a medical device that helps your heart work more efficiently. If your heart failure is advanced or cannot be medically managed, you may need a heart transplant. Surgery can also repair other heart conditions that contribute to your heart failure.

If you have any underlying conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure , they will need to be managed as well.

It is likely you will have a health care team that is made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals. It is important throughout your course of treatment to work with your team by maintaining contact, adhering to treatment, and going to any scheduled appointments.

Treatment for heart failure involves the following:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsSurgical ProceduresAlternative and Complementary Therapies

Revision Information

  • Heart failure. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 7, 2013. Accessed October 8, 2013.

  • How is heart failure treated? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/treatment.html. Updated January 9, 2012. Accessed October 8, 2013.

  • Prevention & treatment of heart failure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/PreventionTreatmentofHeartFailure/Prevention-Treatment-of-Heart-Failure%5FUCM%5F002048%5FArticle.jsp. Updated March 29, 2013. Accessed October 8, 2013.