Cardiomyopathy can often be effectively managed through lifestyle changes and medication. However, when these don’t yield results, your doctor may suggest a surgical option.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help you manage cardiomyopathy. Some of these changes include: reducing salt intake, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, losing weight and managing stress. Moderate exercise is also recommended; however, discuss this with your doctor first. Some patients need to avoid strenuous exercise.
There are several ways in which medications can help manage cardiomyopathy. Your doctor may write you a prescription for medications to help the heart contract and relax (beta blockers, calcium channel blockers), maintain heart rhythm (anti-arrhythmic drugs), or prevent clots and strokes (blood thinners).
Procedures, Devices & Surgery
The goal for treating cardiomyopathy is to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. For some patients, this requires surgical intervention. Examples of surgical therapies include:
- Internal Cardioverter-defibrillator is used for patients with uncontrolled symptoms or at high risk, this device can help stop a life-threatening abnormal heartbeat.
- Pacemaker can help slow or regulate the heartbeat.
- Alcohol septal ablation is used in cases where the outflow of blood from the heart is blocked. By injecting alcohol in a coronary artery, your doctor can improve outflow. Alternatively, surgeons can perform a surgical septal myectomy that removes a strip of heart muscle to improve outflow.
- Angioplasty or bypass surgery can improve blood supply to the damaged heart.
- Mitral valve repair can also help the heart beat more effectively in some patients with cardiomyopathy; our surgeons offer robotic-assisted techniques of mitral valve repair to allow smaller incisions and faster recovery.
- Heart transplantation