You are looking for information about heart disease treatment options. This page will tell you more about the treatment methods for the most common types of heart diseases:
- Coronary heart disease (cardiovascular disease), e.g. chest pain (angina) or heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Cardiac arrhythmias, e.g. atrial fibrillation
- Heart failure
Questions about heart diseases
Receiving one of these diagnoses raises many questions. What impact will the disease have? What are the different heart disease treatment options? What are the pros and cons of these treatments? Your doctor will give you information on the various treatment options for your heart disease. Together with your doctor, you can choose the treatment option that suits you best. Sometimes, careful monitoring of the disease without receiving any treatment (yet) is an option. There are also questions regarding diagnostic tests such as the heart stress test, with possible ensuing tests and treatments as catheterization (Cath) and angioplasty (PCI, stents). This page is intended to help you determine what treatment you prefer.
Treatment options for heart diseases
Depending on the specific heart disease you have, it can be treated with drugs and/or surgery. Usually, drugs will not cure the diseases, but they can relieve the symptoms and stop further deterioration. Drugs are often also effective in the early stages of the disease, because many drugs tackle the risk factors for the disease. For instance, antihypertensives lower the blood pressure and statins lower the cholesterol. Each drug has its own advantages and disadvantages. If treatment with drugs is not sufficient, surgery is often an option. Examples of surgery for coronary heart diseases are bypass surgery and the placement of a stent. Examples of surgery for a cardiac arrhythmia or heart failure are the placement of a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
For each specific heart disease, there is a guideline with the recommended treatments. Your doctor will tell you more about this. These guidelines often leave room for individual preferences. Together with your doctor, you can choose which one of the recommended treatments suits your wishes best.
Heart disease decision aids
Some knowledge about the up- and downsides is needed, before you can choose what treatment you prefer. The decision aids that are listed at the bottom of this page can help you with this. They will give you more information on the recommended heart disease treatment options and help you find out which treatment suits you best. Of course, it is still important to discuss everything with your doctor. Please make sure that you only use the decision aid that is specific to your disease.