Septal Myectomy | Loyola Medicine

Septal Myectomy

Surgical Procedure to Treat Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Septal myectomy is one of the many ways the highly skilled cardiologists at Loyola Medicine treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic disorder in which you develop heart muscle thickening that reduces blood circulation from the left ventricle and interferes with your heart’s rhythm.  

Septal myectomy is an open heart surgery in which a skilled Loyola cardiac surgeon removes part of the thick septum between the ventricles of your heart. By removing part of this overgrown muscle, your heart is able to improve blood flow and correct your heart arrhythmia.
 
Whether you have mild or severe obstruction, Loyola’s interventional cardiologists are expert at determining if septal myectomy is the best treatment option for you. The alternatives to septal myectomies are treatment with medication or removal of tissue with a minimally invasive procedure called alcohol septal ablation. A septal myectomy is most often recommended for patients who do not experience relief from HCM symptoms with other treatments.

Why Choose Loyola for Septal Myectomy?

Loyola’s cardiology and heart surgery program is nationally recognized for our diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions. We work with you to help you understand your condition and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

What is Septal Myectomy?

Loyola's cardiac surgeons are expert at performing septal myectomy to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This open heart surgery will be performed while you are under general anesthesia and will take three to six hours to complete. Your family should anticipate additional time for pre- and post-operative care. 

A six- to eight-inch incision is made down the center of the chest, providing the surgeon access to the heart. Your surgeon will approach the thickened muscle through the aortic valve in order to avoid making incisions in the heart. 

A heart-lung machine will be used during the procedure. This machine will take over the heart's normal functions so that your heart can be still during surgery. Your blood will be routed through the machine and returned to the body. Once the procedure is complete, the heart-lung machine will be turned off and your heart will once again begin beating on its own. 

After surgery, you will be transferred to intensive care for close monitoring. You can expect to stay in the hospital for five to seven days following surgery. During this time, you will work with a cardiac rehabilitation specialist who will help you gradually increase your activity to aid your recovery. 

Full recovery from septal myectomy will take six to eight weeks. You will not be able to drive for a few weeks following surgery. Your doctor will discuss your specific limitations with you, including when to return to work. Regular follow-up appointments will be necessary to evaluate your heart function and adjust medications if necessary.

Risks of Septal Myectomy

Septal myectomy is generally very safe. However, there are some risks associated with any surgical procedure and your risks are influenced by your overall health and the presence of additional medical conditions. Risks of septal myectomy may include: