Septal Myectomy | Heart Muscle Reduction | MedStar Health

Surgically removing excess heart muscle

By removing a portion of overgrown muscle between the lower chambers of the heart, we can create more space for blood to flow through the heart.

If you have been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, your doctor may recommend septal myectomy if medication does not relieve symptoms or if you are not a candidate for a less-invasive treatment, such as septal alcohol ablation. During the procedure, a portion of overgrown muscle between the lower chambers of the heart is removed, creating more space for blood to flow.

What to expect during a septal myectomy

You will be asked not to eat or drink before the procedure. Ask your doctor if you should continue to take any regular medications. A small amount of hair may be shaved on your chest if necessary.

You will be placed under general anesthesia and will not feel or remember the procedure. You may have a tube placed in your throat to breathe for you. Your surgeon will make an incision in your chest and divide your breastbone to access your heart. You will be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine that will pump your blood and allow your heart to stay still and clear of blood during the procedure.

Your surgeon will remove a small amount of the thick portion of the septal muscle, wire your breastbone back together and close the incision. You may need to stay in the hospital for several days to recover and work with a cardiac rehabilitation specialist.


Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic condition that causes heart muscle tissue to become abnormally thick.


Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Holter Monitors

A Holter monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It’s similar to an electrocardiogram, but whereas an electrocardiogram records over a few minutes, a Holter monitor records over the course of a day or two.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and chemically induced stress tests.

Our locations

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MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

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