Alcohol Septal Ablation | Loyola Medicine

Alcohol Septal Ablation

Minimally Invasive Procedure to Treat Cardiomyopathy

Alcohol septal ablation (ASA) is one of the many ways the highly skilled doctors at Loyola Medicine treat the heart disease of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic disorder in which the heart muscle grows abnormally thick, obstructs blood being ejected from the left ventricle and interferes with the heart’s rhythm. ASA is a minimally invasive procedure used to destroy the damaged portion of the heart muscle that is causing the obstruction.

The specialized cardiovascular team at Loyola is one of the few in the area to perform this procedure. Loyola’s interventional cardiologists are expert at evaluating your specific case to determine if ASA is the best treatment option for you.

What to Expect During Alcohol Septal Ablation Treatment

Performed by interventional cardiologists with specific training in the procedure, ASA is a promising treatment for those suffering from heart blockage associated with HCM. 

ASA is done by injecting a small amount of alcohol into an artery through a catheter. The alcohol creates a small, induced heart attack and destroys the damaged portion of the heart muscle that is causing the obstruction. This allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently and improves mitral valve function. It also reduces the symptoms of HCM, which can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

The procedure is performed under mild sedation and patients are usually observed in the hospital after the procedure.

What are the Risks of Alcohol Septal Ablation?

If performed in high-volume centers like Loyola, complications from ASA are rare, but may include: