Features June 2008 Issue

Remodeling Damaged Heart May Increase Survival Odds

After a heart attack, surgical ventricular restoration (SVR) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) can reshape the heart to help it pump more efficiently.

Following a heart attack, patients who suffer extensive damage to the left ventricleóthe heartís important pumping chamberómay do better when the damaged muscle is cut out and the ventricle reshaped to its normal size. Thatís because the heart pumps better when the useless tissue is removed. The procedure, called surgical ventricular restoration (SVR), is not new, yet many patients have never heard of it. SVR is almost always done in conjunction with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). "People who require SVR almost always have multivessel coronary artery disease. We do bypass grafting at the same time to ensure the remaining heart tissue gets the blood supply it needs to stay alive," says cardiac surgeon Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, of Cleveland Clinic.

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