Discussing Heart Failure Treatment
Receiving a heart failure diagnosis and learning about your treatment options can feel overwhelming. However, discussing heart failure treatment options with your doctor and medical team is extremely important, especially as you learn about your doctor’s recommended treatment. Always take time to prepare for your conversations with your doctor.
This list of suggestions can help you get started. You can print this page and bring it with you to your next office visit.
Before you meet with your doctor:
- Write down questions to bring with you
- Gather your medical records to share
- Be ready to take notes to help you remember important points
- Consider bringing a friend or family member to your appointment or procedure
When you meet with your doctor, ask:
- About the severity of your condition
- What stage of heart failure you are in
- The implications of your symptoms and ways to manage them
- What kind of treatment options may be best for you, and the associated risks, benefits and side effects of that treatment
- What to expect during treatment
- About undesirable side effects from medications or other treatments
During your discussion, your doctor should give you:
- A clear explanation of your condition, diagnostic tests and treatment options, as well as the risks and benefits of treatments
- Action steps to take if your symptoms worsen
- Referrals to appropriate specialists when necessary
Talking about your treatment options with family, friends and others in your life is also a helpful way to receive the support and care you need. They can offer support as you begin to prepare for treatment, a hospital stay (if necessary) and recovery.