Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the pumping chambers of the heart to become abnormally thick. When this occurs, it can sometimes obstruct the flow of blood from the left ventricle of the heart; this type of HCM called obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The first line of defense for treating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is to manage symptoms with medication, such as beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. However, in some cases medication is not effective, or the obstruction severely restricts blood ejection. In these cases, there are surgical options available to you. One option is called septal myectomy.

The sepal myectomy procedure is a type of open-heart surgery where the surgeon will remove part of the thickened septum that’s causing the obstruction of the left ventricle. This allows the blood to flow more freely, and can provide rapid symptom relief.

Septal myectomy is an effective but highly specialized procedure performed by a select number of surgeons in the nation. At Penn, our team has the experience and skill necessary to perform this surgery. If you are dealing with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, it is important to carefully discuss all your options with your care team so that they can work with you to find the treatment that is best suited to your needs.

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