Septal myectomy is an open-heart procedure that removes part of the thickened septal wall that is blocking blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. This is one treatment option that is available for patients with progressive heart failure despite medical therapy and is usually the first consideration for the majority of eligible patients. This option is available to patients who are strong and healthy enough to undergo surgery, and it is also recommended for those with additional abnormalities of the heart that need mechanical correction. There are certain cases when septal myectomy is always the preferred treatment method; however, considerations for favoring this procedure include:
- greater septal thickness (greater than 3.0 cm) or other cardiac disease that requires additional surgical correction.
The procedure takes approximately three to four hours and usually requires a five- to six-day hospital stay plus additional outpatient rehabilitation. Septal myectomy has been established as an effective and proven approach with a high success rate for reversing the consequences of heart failure, when it is performed in high-volume surgical centers with significant experience in this particular surgery.
Surgeons are required to have special training prior to performing septal myectomy (greater than 20 surgeries without the need for valve replacement). So, if you are considering septal myectomy, work with your physician to find a qualified medical center and an experienced doctor to perform the procedure.