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Cardiomyopathy Treatment

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An Overview

Your heart has a muscle called the Myocardium. Cardiomyopathy is a condition that affects the Myocardium by making it stiff, thicker or larger than its average size or making it thinner and weaker to pump blood efficiently. Eventually, it can cause scarring on the tissue, impacting your heart’s ability to pump blood. Cardiomyopathy can cause heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and extreme tiredness, eventually weakening the heart and causing heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest.

You can acquire Cardiomyopathy due for various reasons. Sometimes the condition can be passed on through family genes. Cardiomyopathy exhibits several unique characteristics that set it apart from numerous other heart-related disorders. These key distinctions include:

  • Age factor:

Unlike many heart diseases that are more prevalent in the elderly, cardiomyopathy can manifest in individuals at any age, including the young.

  • Progression rate:

Cardiomyopathy is typically a progressive condition, with its severity escalating over time. For some patients, this progression can be quite rapid.

  • Association with other disorders:

Unlike many heart conditions that primarily affect the cardiovascular system, cardiomyopathy can often be linked to diseases impacting other organs in addition to the heart.

  • Implication in heart transplants:

Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a specific form of this disease, is recognized as one of the predominant reasons leading to heart transplant procedures.

  • Structural changes in the heart:

Many heart diseases stem from issues with blood vessels or electrical system anomalies. However, cardiomyopathy primarily results from gradual, often irreversible, alterations in the structure of the heart muscle over time.

Regardless of whether you have acquired or inherited Cardiomyopathy, you can rely on Dr. Karthigesan to give you the latest cardiomyopathy treatment with his in-depth expertise in the field of Cardiology. You can also depend on him to provide you with the best cardiac advice and guidance for a longer and healthier life.

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  • Oedema or fluid retention in the ankles, legs, and feet
  • Oedema in the abdomen
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Breathlessness while active or at rest
  • Discomfort or feeling of pressure on your chest
  • Rapid, pounding or fluttering heartbeat
  • Difficulty while lying flat on your back
  • Coughing while lying down
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Syncope or fainting spells
  • Heart failure because your heart cannot pump the required amount of oxygenated blood supply to your body.
  • Heart valve problems may arise as a result of an enlarged heart that prevents the valves from closing properly. This can cause the blood to flow backwards in the valve.
  • The risk of blood clots is high since the heart cannot function efficiently. These blood clots can become life-threatening or cause a stroke if they enter your bloodstream and block the blood supply to the vital organs, especially the brain. 
  • Fatal cardiac arrest as it can trigger arrhythmias that can make you unconscious. Sometimes the condition can stop your heartbeat and cause death.

Cardiomyopathy is either acquired or inherited from your parents. Sometimes, the causes main remain unknown.

Inherited Cardiomyopathy can be due to these reasons:

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Genetic or family history of cardiomyopathy

Acquired Cardiomyopathy can be due to these reasons:

  • Diabetes
  • Cocaine abuse
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Heart valve issues
  • Coronary artery diseases
  • Chronic arrhythmia
  • Heart muscle infections
  • Chronic alcoholism 
  • Damaged heart tissues after a heart attack
  • Severe viral infections like COVID-19
  • Thyroid problems and other endocrine issues
  • Heart diseases like Amyloidosis, Hemochromatosis, and Sarcoidosis
A man holding a bisection model of a heart.

Types of Cardiomyopathy

Dilated Cardiomyopathy
In this condition, your left ventricle enlarges and loses its ability to pump blood to other body parts. It can be acquired due to various infections or due to family history/genetic reasons.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
It is a condition where the heart muscle becomes thick or hypertrophied, making the heart function more difficult. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy primarily affects the left ventricle. It is genetic in nature and affects 1 in 500 people.
Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
It is a rare condition where the heart muscle stiffens and restricts the organ from expanding and filling with blood. Although it can occur at any age, Restrictive Cardiomyopathy mostly affects senior citizens.
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
This, again, is a rare condition caused by a genetic mutation where the lower right ventricle has scar tissues instead of muscles. The scar tissue tends to cause abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac arrest.

Cardiomyopathy Treatment Options

The three main objectives of Cardiomyopathy treatment are to prevent the condition from progressing, mitigate the risk factors that make the condition fatal, understand and manage your symptoms. The treatment options include:


Dr. Karthigesan may prescribe a medication routine to remove excessive fluids from your body, improve blood flow and prevent blood clots, reduce your heart rate and manage hypertension. Apart from that, standard guideline-directed medical therapies will also be prescribed to improve overall heart failure symptoms.

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)

The ICD is a battery-operated device placed inside your chest. It keeps track of your heart rhythm and sends electric impulses when it detects life-threatening arrhythmias. It is also an invasive cardiac procedure.

Biventricular Pacemaker (CRT-P)

This implant device is placed under your skin during an invasive cardiac procedure to improve your heart’s pumping efficiency by sending electrical signals. This device works for certain types of Cardiomyopathy.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation, an invasive cardiac procedure, is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, which either cause or worsen the existing heart failure. An electrode at the catheter tip transmits energy to damage the abnormal heart tissue, causing the abnormal rhythm that leads to Cardiomyopathy.

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

A Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) enhances heart function by promoting blood flow. Typically employed when less invasive methods fail, this surgical procedure can be a long-term solution for chronic heart issues or a temporary aid for those awaiting a heart transplant.

Septal Myectomy

In this open-heart surgical procedure, the hypertrophied septum or heart muscle wall that bifurcates the ventricles is removed to improve the blood flow around the heart. This Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy treatment also reduces Mitral Valve Regurgitation.

Septal ablation

This is an invasive cardiac procedure that is mainly done to reduce the size of the thickened heart muscle and improve your cardiac output. In this procedure, a long, thin tube or catheter is used to inject alcohol into an artery supplying blood to a portion of the thickened heart muscle.

Heart Transplant

A heart transplant is a major surgery and may be the only option when medication and other treatments are unsuccessful. It may also be the sole remedy to save your life from end-stage heart failure.
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Discover More About Cardiomyopathy

To diagnose Cardiomyopathy, Dr. Karthigesan may suggest the following tests:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Chest x-ray
  • Cardiac catheterisation
  • Cardiac CT scan
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Genetic tests
  • Blood tests

Dr. Karthigesan may suggest genetic tests if you are diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or dilated and Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy. Genetic testing aims to prevent further risks and decide on the next course of treatment.
To run a genetic test, your diagnostic lab technician will collect your blood sample or take a cheek swab.

If your test results are negative, you can rest assured that you do not carry the mutated gene that causes the disorder. At the same time, there is no complete guarantee that you do not have the condition.

However, if you test positive, Dr Karthigesan may recommend your other family members also undergo genetic testing to ascertain if they have inherited the faulty gene.

The duration of Cardiomyopathy depends on the severity and the type of condition you have. For instance, some Cardipmyopathys will require lifelong treatment, and some may not cause any major problems at all.

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, for example, is not a long-lasting Cardiomyopathy, but it occurs due to excessive stress and may last a few months. Also, if the condition occurs due to chemotherapy or excessive alcohol intake, it may be reversible. Also, any abnormal heart rhythm-related Cardiomyopathy is treatable and reversible either by RF Ablation or by using medications. Tachycardia myopathy, for instance, is due to abnormal or rapid heart rhythms, which can be cured by undergoing RF Ablation or by taking medications to control the abnormal heart rhythms.

Generally, Cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment before it can worsen. It is also a progressive condition that can worsen over time and become life-threatening without timely medical help.

However, with Dr. Karthigesan’s care, there’s always hope for recovery. After diagnosing your condition, Dr Karthigesan will evaluate if there is any risk of sudden cardiac arrest related to Cardiomyopathy. If you belong to the high-risk category, he will recommend you to go for AICD implantation to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

Prevention is always better than cure. Hence, to keep Cardiomyopathy at bay, you can:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain your blood pressure
  • Keep your blood sugar and cholesterol levels within normal ranges
  • Avoid smoking, drug abuse, alcohol intake, and usage of tobacco
  • Treat existing conditions like diabetes and sleep apnea
  • Take all your prescribed medication
  • Consult your doctor for regular health checkups
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