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Understanding Cardiomyopathy Treatment in Northern California


Cardiomyopathy — an enlargement of the heart muscle — may not cause symptoms, and does not always need treatment. Your doctor is likely to recommend treatment only if your condition is severe and causing complications.

Treatment goals are to manage symptoms, prevent the condition from worsening, and reduce the risk of heart attack and heart failure.

At Dignity Health North State, our doctors specialize in the treatment of many cardiovascular conditions. Find a Doctor today to discuss cardiomyopathy treatments in Northern California.

 

Treating Cardiomyopathy at Dignity Health North State

Treatments for cardiomyopathy range from lifestyle changes to heart transplant surgery, depending on the type, cause, and severity of the condition. Lifestyle modifications — regular exercise, smoking cessation, weight management — are often recommended as initial treatment. 

Your Dignity Health North State doctor may prescribe the following medications to relieve symptoms and ease the load on your heart:

  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners), to reduce the risk of blood clots
  • Corticosteroids, to reduce inflammation in blood vessels
  • Antiarrhythmics, to help your heart keep normal rhythm
  • Antihypertensives, to lower blood pressure
  • Diuretics (“water pills”), to reduce the load on your heart by removing fluid from your body
  • Electrolytes, to provide your heart with nutrients 

Procedures to treat cardiomyopathy include:

  • Septal ablation. Ethanol is used to shrink an abnormally thick septum (a wall inside your heart), opening the path for better blood flow.
  • Implantable devices. Implanted in the chest or abdomen and connected to the heart with wires, these devices detect and automatically correct irregular or life-threatening heartbeats (arrhythmias).
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Used as a treatment itself, or as a temporary measure for people awaiting a heart transplant, this device helps the heart pump blood.
  • Septal myectomy. This open heart surgery improves blood flow by removing a portion of a thickened septum.
  • Heart transplant. Surgery to replace a diseased heart with a healthy donor heart. This treatment is reserved for patients at risk of death, and whose other treatments did not help.

 

Choosing Your Treatment Options

Your doctor will likely recommend the least invasive treatment initially. If your symptoms are severe, and your quality of life suffers, your Dignity Health North State cardiologist may recommend more aggressive treatment.

Be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of all available treatment options.

 

Is Cardiomyopathy Preventable?

Not all types of cardiomyopathy are preventable. However, you can reduce your risk of cardiomyopathy associated with heart disease by:

  • Treating illnesses known to affect the heart, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Seeking help whenever you experience symptoms indicating cardiomyopathy
  • Not smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting your alcohol use 

Want to know if you are at risk for heart disease? Take our free heart risk assessment and talk to a Dignity Health North State cardiologist about your results.

Dignity Health North State heart care team is here to keep your heart strong with advanced cardiomyopathy treatments in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.