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 who are 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 who have had a heart attack, are living with a heart condition or are 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.

About Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

About 250,000 people a year in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute to treat their heart and vascular conditions. That’s more than any other provider in the area.

  • All four of Norton Healthcare’s adult acute-care hospitals are accredited by the American College of Cardiology’s Accreditation Services as Chest Pain Centers, with the highest accreditation level possible for facilities able to treat heart attacks.
  • 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 surgerythoracic surgery, electrophysiologyadvanced heart failureand vascular surgery.
  • We offer same-day appointments for new patients.
  • We have 27 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 clinical sites in the region.
  • Norton Healthcare has four adult-service cardiac catheterization labs, with 14 state-of-the-art rooms. Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital have received the highest level of cardiac catheterization accreditation from the American College of Cardiology — offering lifesaving, minimally invasive procedures for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Our cardiothoracic surgeons and electrophysiologists have more experience than any provider in the area performing hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation (A-fib). This innovative treatment also can help patients who have had persistent A-fib for more than a year that hasn’t responded to other treatments.
  • 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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