Cardiomyopathy Essay

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Cardiomyopathy, by definition, means the weakening of the heart muscle. The heart is operated by a striated muscle that relies on the autonomic nervous system to function. Cardiomyopathy is diagnosed in four different ways based on what caused the illness and exactly what part of the heart is weakened. The four main types of cardiomyopathy are dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. One other category of cardiomyopathy that is diagnosed is “unclassified cardiomyopathy.” Unclassified cardiomyopathy is the weakening of the heart that does not fit into the main four categories.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common diagnosis among the other three cardiomyopathies.
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The thickening of the muscle cells do not necessarily have to change the size of the ventricles, but can narrow the blood vessels inside the heart. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be grouped into two categories: obstructive HCM and non-obstructive HCM. With obstructive HCM, the septum (the wall that divides the left and right sides of the heart) becomes thickened and blocks the blood flow out of the left ventricle. Overall, HCM usually starts in the left ventricle. HCM can also cause blood to leak backward through the mitral valve causing even more problems. The walls of the ventricles can also become stiff since it cannot hold a normal amount of blood. This stiffening causes the ventricle to not relax and entirely fill with…show more content…
There are four different categories of treatment: lifestyle changes, surgical procedures, non-surgical procedures, and medications. Lifestyle changes include having a healthy diet; increasing physical activity; eliminating cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and illicit drugs; and getting enough rest and sleep; losing excess weight. These lifestyle changes are to lower the patient’s blood pressure, cholesterol, and reducing any other future medical conditions. There are also surgical options to help cure, prevent, or control cardiomyopathy. Surgical method include a septal myectomy, surgically implanted devices, and a heart transplant. A septal myectomy is used to specifically treat hypertrophy cardiomyopathy which is where the heart muscle cells enlarge and cause the walls of the ventricles to thicken. The thickening of the walls may not affect the size of the ventricles but instead may affect the blood flow out of the ventricle. Usually along with the ventricles swelling, the septum in between the ventricles can become enlarged and block the blood flow causing a heart attack. When medication is not working well to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a surgeon will open the chest cavity and remove part of the septum that is blocking blood flow. Surgically implanted devices include a pacemaker, a cardiac resynchronization therapy device, a left ventricular assist device, and an implantable

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