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What is the prognosis for cardiomyopathy?

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Quick Answer

Although there is no cure, the prognosis is good for individuals with cardiomyopathy, as medications, artificial devices and surgery provide adequate relief. Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart, responds well to various treatment methods. Relief for symptoms varies, depending on the type of cardiomyopathy, and includes pacemakers, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors and diuretics, and procedures including myectomy, ablation and open-heart surgery.

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Full Answer

Although falling under one umbrella term, cardiomyopathy breaks down into several types. These types include dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and restrictive cardiomyopathy. People with dilated cardiomyopathy generally receive medications or implants, or a combination. Popular medications include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers and diuretics. Some medicines, like ACE inhibitors, improve heart function by increasing pumping capacity. Diuretics remove excess fluids from the body that result from heart failure to ease tension on the heart and facilitate breathing.

Patients may also receive pacemakers to stabilize electrical operations in the heart. Those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy receive similar treatment; cardiologists usually begin with medications, progressing to implants and lastly heart surgery if conservative measures fail, according to Mayo Clinic. Procedures include septal myectomy and septal ablation. Myectomy involves surgical removal of thickened and scarred heart muscle walls, while ablation involves reducing thickened heart muscles through injections of alcohol. Cardiologists treat restrictive cardiomyopathy with medications, and reserve heart transplants for non-responsive cases.

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