Treating hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM)
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) (also called idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis) is a condition that is often hereditary. The heart’s muscle becomes abnormally thickened, making it harder for the heart to pump blood properly.
Most HOCM patients have no symptoms but because sudden cardiac death (SCD) is possible (often in athletes), patients with family history of SCD or HOCM should be thoroughly screened.
When patients do experience symptoms, they might include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting or lightheadedness
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Leg swelling
Treating HOCM with alcohol (EtoH) septal ablation
Alcohol (EtOH) septal ablation is a non-surgical HOCM treatment that brings the affected heart wall back to a normal size. Using a balloon-tipped catheter (thin tube), an interventional cardiologist injects a tiny amount of pure alcohol into the wall of the heart that is overgrown. This kills the affected cells on contact, allowing the area to shrink and blood flow to improve.
Benefits of this procedure include:
- Performed with small incisions
- Reduced pain and shorter recovery
- High success rate
- Relieves symptoms
- Improves quality of life
Most HOCM patients have no symptoms but sudden cardiac death (SCD) is possible (often in athletes), so patients with family history of SCD or HOCM should be thoroughly screened.
To learn more about HOCM care and heart care for athletes, call us at (303) 331-9121.