Tests and procedures

The questions below have been designed to help you discuss any queries you have relating to a test or procedure you may have to undergo. Before discussing this with your doctor, you may find reading the Tests and Procedures sections on this website helps you get the most out of the conversation with your doctor.

Why am I having this procedure/test?
Your doctor will explain the purpose of the procedure/test and help you understand what information the results may provide.

Will I have to stay in hospital?
You may need to stay in hospital overnight. Your doctor or nurse will tell you if this is necessary and help you make any arrangements that may be needed.

How long will the test/procedure take?
You doctor will be able to give you an idea of how long you will be in hospital so you can plan accordingly.

Will I feel anything?
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. However, some procedures may be associated with some discomfort and this will be discussed with you.

Will I have to take any extra medicines after the test/procedure?
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 test/procedure you can check how much to take, how often, and if there are any associated side effects.

Do I have to prepare for the test/procedure?
You may have to fast (refrain from eating) or not take some medicines for the day of the procedure. You will be provided with this information by your doctor or nurse.

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.

heartfailurematters.org is a European Society of Cardiology website

The heartfailurematters.org 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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