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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - Topic Overview

How is it treated?

Many people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy don't have symptoms and don't need treatment. If you do have symptoms, your treatment will depend on what your symptoms are and whether you develop heart failure or an abnormal heart rhythm.

  • You may take medicines to treat symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • If you get a serious heart rhythm problem such as atrial fibrillation, you may take medicines to control your heart rate or rhythm and to prevent blood clots. Or you may get cardioversion, an electrical shock to return the heart to its normal rhythm.
  • If you are at high risk for sudden death from an arrhythmia, you may need an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a small device like a pacemaker. It can prevent or stop dangerous heart rhythms.
  • If medicines don't work and your heart isn't pumping blood well, you might have a procedure to reduce the size of the overgrown part of your heart. The overgrown part can be removed with a surgery called myectomy. Or it can be destroyed by injecting alcohol into the artery that supplies that part of the heart. This procedure is called nonsurgical septal reduction, or alcohol septal ablation.

What can you do at home for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

  • Avoid strenuous activity and intense exercise. Your doctor can tell you what level of exercise and what kinds of activities are safe for you.
  • Be active at a safe level to help keep your heart and body healthy.
  • If you smoke, quit. Your doctor can tell you about medicines and counseling that can help you quit for good.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake).
  • Get checkups as often as your doctor recommends.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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