Cardiomyopathy | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Cardiomyopathy

What Is Cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that leads to a weaker heart that is less able to pump blood through the body.

The result can be heart failure, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and heart valve conditions.

More patients with cardiomyopathy and other heart conditions entrust their care to Norton Heart & Vascular Institute than any other provider in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiologists and other specialists in the Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program are at the leading edge of advanced treatments for cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy in children can be inherited, the result of a viral infection or from an unknown cause. The specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, provide sophisticated care for children with cardiomyopathy from across Kentucky, Southern Indiana and beyond.

Types of Cardiomyopathy

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy, the most common type of cardiomyopathy, affects the pumping chambers of the heart (ventricles). The heart muscle stretches and thins — dilates — and the inside of the heart chamber enlarges and becomes less efficient pumping blood.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is typically an inherited tendency for the left ventricle to contract and become thicker. As the heart muscle thickens, less blood is taken in and pumped out to the body. The condition often appears in childhood or early adulthood and can cause sudden death in adolescents and young athletes.
  • Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy is a result of scar tissue replacing healthy heart tissue and causing arrhythmia.
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy is also known as idiopathic cardiomyopathy or infiltrative cardiomyopathy. Typically in older adults, scar tissue can replace healthy muscle and make the heart ventricles stiff, restricting their ability to fill with blood.

Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

Sometimes cardiomyopathy causes no symptoms, or symptoms emerge as the disease progresses. Symptoms can include:

  • Irregular heartbeat or palpitations
  • Fainting, or syncope
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the ankles and legs

Cardiomyopathy Treatment

At the Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program we use advanced treatments to try to slow the progress of cardiomyopathy and control the symptoms.

We start by working with you on dietary changes and other lifestyle adjustments such as physical activity, stress reduction, and reduction of alcohol and other drugs. We often have success with lifestyle changes in conjunction with medication.

Implanted devices such as pacemakers or a cardioverter-defibrillator (either implanted or wearable) can control abnormal heart rhythms such as arrhythmia. Your Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program provider may use a sophisticated device to remotely monitor your blood flow daily for subtle changes that can signal a worsening condition.

Our cardiologists may use minimally invasive procedures such as ablations that carefully destroy small parts of diseased heart to restore blood flow or interrupt abnormal heart rhythms.

In some cases, surgery to remove the thickened part of muscle between the two ventricles is required to improve blood flow through the heart.

Our surgeons have experience and sophisticated training with ventricular assist devices if necessary as either a long-term solution or a short-term bridge to a heart transplant.

Heart and Vascular Care for the Whole Person

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers patient resources to support you and your family, including free classes for people of all ages seeking to improve cardiovascular health or living with a heart condition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation providers are leaders in developing and applying innovative techniques that can help you recover and resume your life.

Connecting Hearts Support Group

The group provides education and support to individuals after a heart attack, living with a heart condition or at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart Health Screenings

Prevention is the best way to manage heart disease, and screenings are available to detect early signs of cardiac and vascular disease and identify risk factors.

Classes and Events

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers classes about once a week on a broad range of heart health topics including cooking classes, atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and heart failure education workshops, and more.

Norton Healthcare Heart and Vascular Institute

About Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists treat more people for heart and vascular conditions — about 250,000 every year — than any other provider in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals are American College of Cardiology accredited Cycle VI Chest Pain Centers — the highest level of expertise to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
  • We have more than 50 board-certified cardiovascular physicians and 35 advanced practice providers. Through training and years of experience, they specialize in areas such as cardiologyinterventional cardiologycardiothoracic surgeryelectrophysiologyadvanced heart failure and vascular surgery.
  • We offer same-day new patient appointments.
  • We have 27 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 clinical sites in the region.
  • We have the experience, expertise and easy access you’d expect from the largest cardiovascular care provider in Kentucky.
  • Norton Healthcare is the only health care system in Kentucky to receive the prestigious Mission Lifeline: Regional Trailblazer Award from the American Heart Association for being an innovator in creating a system of care for ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attacks —  the most severe type of heart attack.
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