Request a Second Opinion
For Michigan patients only.
Some types of structural heart disease can affect people at any age, from adolescents and young adults to middle aged to elderly people. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of these, a common condition that can lead to severe complications if left untreated.
At the Henry Ford Center for Structural Heart Disease, our internationally renowned cardiologists specialize in minimally invasive treatment for people with HCM.
HCM is a common heart condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken. The condition usually affects the septum, the muscular wall between the left and right sides of the heart, and the left ventricle, which pumps oxygen-rich blood to the entire body. HCM can also occur in other walls of the heart.
HCM can develop slowly or occur suddenly. The condition becomes progressively worse. Over time, HCM causes changes in your heart function that include:
These changes prevent the heart from working properly. It must work harder to pump enough blood to the brain, vital organs and all parts of the body.
HCM can lead to potentially life-threatening complications such as heart failure (learn more about our Advanced Heart Failure Program), sudden cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death. In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart abruptly stops beating without warning. Without immediate emergency medical treatment, sudden cardiac arrest leads to sudden cardiac death within minutes.
HCM is usually inherited, caused by mutations (abnormalities) in some genes in heart muscle proteins. However, some people with these genetic mutations never develop the disease.
In many cases, the cause of HCM is unknown. Certain factors may increase your risk of developing the condition, including:
Often, people who have HCM may not experience any symptoms. Your physician may find signs of the condition during a routine health exam.
If people do have symptoms, these may include:
If you have any of these symptoms or risk factors, see your physician for an exam and screening to assess your risk of developing HCM. When your physician refers you to Henry Ford, we perform a complete evaluation, including:
Your Henry Ford cardiologist may recommend additional testing, even if you have already had tests through your primary care physician. Find out more about how our expert cardiologists detect and identify HCM on our Diagnosis page.
Once we confirm a diagnosis of HCM, our structural heart specialists work together with you to develop a treatment plan customized to your needs. We consider these factors as we build your comprehensive plan:
If you are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of HCM, you may not need treatment. We work with your primary care physician to monitor your heart function at periodic checkups. Your cardiologist may also recommend lifestyle changes to help you enjoy better health, such as:
If you do have symptoms, you have several treatment options depending on your individual case. Our treatment goals are to:
At the Center for Structural Heart Disease at Henry Ford Hospital, our heart specialists are pioneers in the latest, most advanced procedures for conditions like HCM. We work together, combining our expertise from several fields of heart care to help you enjoy your best possible health.
Find out more about the leading-edge treatments we offer, including: