Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an inherited condition that causes thickening of the walls of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart. In some people, the heart becomes stiff and cannot fill properly or pump enough blood to provide an adequate supply to the body, particularly during exercise. In others, blood flow from the heart is obstructed. This condition may be associated with irregular heart rhythms.
Cardiologists and heart surgeons at St. Luke’s University Health Network’s Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program work with heart rhythm specialists—including electrophysiologists, who specialize in heart rhythm disorders, and cardiac device management doctors—to care for people with the condition.
Treatment may include lifestyle changes, medication, implanted cardiac devices, or cardiac surgery, known as septal myectomy.
Lifestyle Changes for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Certain lifestyle changes, such as exercising as recommended, may help to manage hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. St. Luke’s heart specialists often recommend certain lifestyle guidelines for people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Your doctor may ask you to lose weight if you are overweight, quit smoking, and limit your alcohol intake.
Medication for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Medication may be used to manage the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Our doctors may prescribe medication to manage the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In this condition, the walls of the heart’s lower left chamber, or ventricle, thicken, preventing it from filling with blood. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can obstruct blood flow to the body, raising blood pressure in the heart and, sometimes, causing heart rhythm disorders, such as ventricular fibrillation—a rapid and chaotic heartbeat that can be life threatening.
Surgery for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Surgery can help relieve symptoms of a severe form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. If medication doesn’t alleviate the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, your St. Luke’s doctor may recommend surgery to manage the condition.
Cardiac Device Implantation for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Implantable cardiac devices may help treat people with arrhythmias caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Our doctors implant cardiac devices that help maintain regular heartbeats in people with dangerous heart rhythms caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Cardiologists, device management specialists, and electrophysiologists — doctors who specialize in heart rhythm disorders — work together to help improve heart rhythm and rate.