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Cardiomyopathy

HEART MUSCLE DISEASE

Our leading cardiac specialists can diagnose, manage and treat symptoms of cardiomyopathy — a disorder of heart muscle

About

Cardiomyopathy is an umbrella term for diseases of the heart muscle, where the walls of the heart chambers either become stretched and thin or thickened and stiff. This makes it hard for the heart to pump blood around the body and can lead to heart failure. Cardiomyopathy is often an inherited condition.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of cardiomyopathy icon plus

    Symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:

    • extreme tiredness
    • rapid or fluttering heartbeat
    • chest pressure
    • dizziness or loss of consciousness
    • breathlessness while resting or moving around
    • swollen legs and ankles
    • a bloated stomach due to fluid build up

    These symptoms will get worse over time, if left untreated.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. They may order further tests.

    • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This measures electrical impulses from your heart. It detects abnormal heart rhythms, which can cause cardiomyopathy.
    • Echocardiogram. This looks at heart muscle and valve function.
    • Cardiac MRI scan. This explores the extent of the damage and looks for abnormalities inside the heart muscle itself.
    • Cardiac catheterisation. A biopsy of your heart, which is taken through a catheter and sent for analysis.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    There are many ways to manage cardiomyopathy.

    • Medication: this can improve your heart's ability to pump, remove excess fluid and lower blood pressure.
    • Implanted devices: these are surgically implanted and include pacemakers to control arrhythmia, and sometimes to improve heart muscle function. In severe cases, ventricular assist devices (VAD) may be used to support the heart.
    • Surgery: a heart transplant can be used in end-stage heart failure, and rarely, a septal myectomy can be used to remove portions of thickened heart muscle.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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