Q:

Does an enlarged heart require surgery?

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Quick Answer

Doctors treat an enlarged heart with various types of drugs, including diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers and digoxin, notes Mayo Clinic. If a patient does not respond to medications, surgery may be necessary.

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Does an enlarged heart require surgery?
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Full Answer

Doctors prescribe diuretics for an enlarged heart to lower the amount of sodium and water in the body, which aids in lowering the pressure on the arteries and heart, explains Mayo Clinic. Angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE, inhibitors can lower blood pressure and improve the heart's pumping capability in some patients. Doctors prescribe angiotensin receptor blockers, or ARBs, for patients who cannot take ACE inhibitors. Patients take beta blockers to improve heart function and to lower blood pressure and digoxin to improve the pumping capabilities of the heart and to reduce the risk of heart failure.

Doctors may prescribe anticoagulants for patients with enlarged hearts to reduce the risk of blood clots that lead to heart attacks and strokes, notes Mayo Clinic. Patients take anti-arrhythmic medications to keep their hearts pumping in a normal rhythm. If medications are not effective, doctors may implant medical devices, such as pacemakers, in patients with enlarged hearts or may recommend heart valve or coronary bypass surgery. Patients with enlarged hearts who do not respond to drugs or other surgical options may need a heart transplant.

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