Septal myectomy

Surgery for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

A procedure to remove part of the thickened heart muscle wall caused by HCM

What is hypertropic cardiomyopathy?

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an inherited condition where the heart muscle (myocardium) becomes abnormally thick, so it's harder for your heart to pump blood.

In some patients, the thickening causes a significant obstruction to the blood leaving the heart. Whilst this can normally be controlled with tablets, surgery is sometimes considered in very symptomatic patients.

Need to know

  • What happens during a septal myectomy?  icon plus

    A septal myectomy is usually carried out as an open heart procedure under general anaesthetic. Your consultant will make an incision in your chest and open your sternum to access your heart.

    A small amount of the thickened septal wall, which separates the right and left ventricles of the heart, will be removed. If necessary, your consultant might repair the mitral valve at the same time.

    This eliminates the obstruction and the mitral valve regurgitation, when blood leaks the wrong way into the heart, that occurs with this condition.

  • How to prepare for a septal myectomy  icon plus

    As with any procedure of this nature, there are potential risks and side effects involved with a septal myectomy, which your consultant will explain beforehand. They'll also advise you on how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand, because you'll be having a general anaesthetic.
  • After your procedure  icon plus

    As a septal myectomy is a major operation, you'll need to spend one or two days in intensive care before returning to the main hospital.

    Usually the total length of the stay in hospital is six or seven days. Your consultant will talk you through what you need to do in the short term, as well as the longer term.

    This includes advice on when you can return to your usual routine, including work and exercise.

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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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