Alcohol Septal Ablation

A Cutting-Edge, Non-Surgical Treatment for HCM

Alcohol septal ablation is a non-surgical procedure that can safely and effectively relieve an obstruction caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This inherited condition makes your heart muscle abnormally thick, which can lead to lifelong complications. Alcohol septal ablation can decrease your symptoms and reduce future complications.

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People with HCM often have the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extra heartbeats
  • Chest discomfort
  • Feeling faint or passing out

What Happens During Alcohol Septal Ablation?

During this procedure, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon at the tip is threaded through the arteries in your leg to find the small artery that supplies blood to that abnormal muscle (septum). We use X-rays and echocardiography to help us find the artery. Some people may not have an artery that can be used to deliver alcohol, and when this occurs we stop the procedure and consider surgical options (like septal myectomy). 

When the correct artery is identified, a very small amount of alcohol is injected through the balloon to kill (ablate) the abnormal muscle. The alcohol induces injury to the abnormal muscle, which causes it to shrink and die, forming scar tissue and relieving the obstruction to blood flow. The full benefit of the procedure is typically seen six months after the procedure.

Preparing for your Alcohol Septal Ablation Procedure

image of an alcohol septal ablation

Watch an Alcohol Septal Ablation

The experts at the Center for Advanced Valvular and Structural Heart Disease perform the minimally invasive alcohol septal ablation to reduce the thickening of heart muscle for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). 

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Schedule a Consultation Today

Call (585) 442-5320 to meet with a heart disease specialist at the Rochester Regional Health Sands-Constellation Heart Institute.
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