Cardiomyopathy — an enlargement or thickening of the heart muscle — does not always produce signs or symptoms. Mild cases may not require any treatment.
Therapy recommendations are guided by the cause and severity of your condition, and how likely you are to have complications. The goals of treatment are to manage symptoms, slow or stop the condition from worsening, and reduce the risk of heart attack and heart failure.
At Dignity Health, our doctors treat the whole person, not just the condition. Find a Doctor to discuss prevention strategies to avoid the need for cardiomyopathy treatment in the Bay Area.
Treatments for Cardiomyopathy at Dignity Health
Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as the first treatment. Medication and surgery can also be used to relieve your symptoms and ease the stress on your heart.
Drugs used to treat cardiomyopathy include:
- Electrolytes to provide nutrients to the heart
- Antihypertensives to bring down your blood pressure
- Antiarrhythmics to help your heart maintain a regular rhythm
- Diuretics to help remove fluid, reducing your heart’s workload
- Anticoagulants to reduce the chance of blood clot formation
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in blood vessels
Surgical options include:
- Septal ablation. Ethanol is used to shrink an abnormally thick septum (wall separating left and right sides of the heart) to improve blood flow through the heart.
- Septal myectomy. Open heart surgery removes part of a thickened septum to improve blood flow.
- Implantable devices. Cardioverter defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices are implanted and connected to the heart. These devices send a shock to the heart when an irregular or life threatening heartbeat (arrhythmia) is detected.
- Left ventricular assist device (LVAD). This device is implanted to help the heart pump blood. An LVAD can be used as a temporary measure or as a treatment itself.
- Heart transplant. Your diseased heart is replaced with a healthy donor heart. You may be a candidate for a heart transplant if your condition becomes life threatening and other treatment options fail.
Deciding on Treatment Options
Your Dignity Health cardiologist will recommend the least invasive treatments first. However, if your symptoms become severe and quality of life decreases, your doctor may ask you to consider more aggressive treatments. They will explain all your options, so you can confidently make the right decision for your well-being.
What You Can Do to Prevent Cardiomyopathy
Not all types of cardiomyopathy are preventable. However, you may be able to reduce your risk of cardiomyopathy related to heart disease by:
- Not smoking
- Eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly
- Managing stress
- Using alcohol moderately
- Carefully managing illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure
- Seeking medical help when you experience symptoms that suggest cardiomyopathy
At Dignity Health, we are committed to providing personal care to our patients in the Bay Area. Learn more about the cardiac care we offer.
Dignity Health doctors specialize in many cardiovascular conditions and therapies, including cardiomyopathy treatment, in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.