Left Ventricular Reduction

A: Enlarged heart before Left Ventricular Reduction (LVR) surgery - B: Heart after LVR surgeryLeft Ventricular Reduction Surgery May Be Used To Reduce The Size Of An Enlarged Heart Instead Of A Heart Bypass In Some Cases.

Surgical Associates of Texas, P.A. surgeons have begun performing a new surgical procedure, called left ventricular reduction, at the Texas Heart Institute on certain patients with enlarged, failing hearts, in  a condition known as congestive heart failure. This operation may be an alternative to heart transplantation for some patients. The procedure involves removing a slice of muscle from the enlarged heart and sewing the heart back together. By reducing its size, the heart can pump more efficiently and vigorously.

Enlarged, Weakened Heart Can Lead To Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure occurs when an enlarged, weakened heart causes a build up of fluids in the body due to a reduction in  blood flow. Blood returning to the heart backs up in the veins and forces fluid into surrounding tissues, most often the feet and legs. The feet, legs and ankles begin to swell under the increased fluid volume, a condition known as edema. This edema can spread to other parts of the body, including vital organs. If the fluid accumulation affects the lungs, it can be a life-threatening situation. The reduction in blood flow is caused by the enlargement of the heart, because an enlarged heart can not pump as efficiently as a normal heart.

Heart Assist Devices Can Help Patients Until Left Ventricular Reduction Surgery Can Be Performed

Surgeons can use heart assist devices as bridges to the left ventricular reduction procedure. By implanting the assist device and permitting the heart to rest, the damaged heart cells may return to normal. The assist device can then be removed, and a left ventricular reduction can be performed. Thus far, the results have been promising.

Surgical Associates of Texas, P.A., the cardiovascular surgical team at the Texas Heart Institute, have more experience than any other cardiovascular surgical group in the world, having performed approximately 100,000 open heart surgeries of all types and degrees of complexity and over 800 heart transplants. Many of our patients have had successful operations and recovery when previously led to believe that no further treatment options were possible.

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Last revised April 2005