Septal myectomy is an open-heart procedure to treat a particular condition called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, or HOCM (“hok-um”).
HOCM affects just over 1 million Americans. It can be a congenital condition, meaning you are born with it, or it can develop later in life. In HOCM, the muscular structure that divides the right and left ventricles, the septum, is abnormally thick. This overly thick muscle can protrude into the left ventricle and block, or obstruct, blood flow from exiting the heart. It can also lead to dangerous arrhythmias.
A septal myectomy is an open heart procedure performed by a cardiac surgeon to treat HOCM. During this surgery, the surgeon removes a portion of the thickened heart tissue to remove the obstruction and improve blood flow as it exits the heart. This procedure is usually recommended for patients who have HOCM, who have symptoms related to HOCM, and who have not gained improvement in their symptoms with medications alone. It may also be recommended for patients with very severe thickening of the heart muscle and patients who have HOCM who may wish to become pregnant, even if they do not have severe symptoms.
In most patients, septal myectomy successfully treats hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.