You can read about the types of Surgery in the What Your Doctor Can Do section on this website, but your doctor will be able to provide you with more specific information relating to the exact surgery you will be having and you can also ask him/her all your questions.

What are the risks associated with this surgery?
Before you have any surgery, you will be able to discuss the procedure and any associated risks with your doctor. For most patients, the benefits of surgery far outweigh the risks.

Will I have to stay in hospital and for how long?
When arranging your surgery, your doctor will be able to tell you if you need to make arrangements to stay in hospital overnight. You can then plan accordingly.

How long will the surgery take?
You doctor will be able to give you an idea of how long the operation will take and the details of the surgery.

Will I feel any pain?
You will be given an anaesthetic so that you don’t feel anything, but your doctor will decide if a general or local anaesthetic is most appropriate. If it’s a general anaesthetic, you will be put to sleep and you will not be aware of the surgery/procedure taking place. If you are having a local anaesthetic, you will be awake during the procedure, but you will not be able to feel the operation, as the area being operated on will be numb.

Will I have to take any extra medicines following surgery?
You may need to take medicines after your surgery that are different from those you’ve previously taken. You could take along the questions on the medicines list so that after your operation you can check how much to take, how often, and if there are any associated side effects.

How long before I start to feel better?
Recovery from an operation usually has two phases. Initially, you will feel a lot better very quickly. However, it will then take time for you to fully recover and notice the benefits of your surgery. Your doctor may be able to give you an idea of how long it will take to recover from your operation.

Will I have to make any lifestyle changes?
After your surgery, you may not be able to go back to your normal diet and physical activity, straight away. Your doctor, nurse or dietician will be able to advise you on what you can do, what you should try to avoid doing and any changes you should make to your daily routine.

ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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