Fig

The Big Heart Disease Lie

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A left ventricular aneurysm occurs when a portion of the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, balloons out (A), often as a result of a heart attack. It can be corrected surgically by removing the saclike portion of the ventricle (B) and sewing it back together (C).

Fig. 8.9

sionally break off and travel to the brain and other areas in the body.

Removing a left ventricular aneurysm requires using the heart-lung machine. Much of the scar tissue sac is removed (Fig. 8.9B), and the remaining heart muscle is repaired or sewn back together by using one of several techniques (Fig. 8.9C).

Frequently when performing surgery to remove a left ventricular aneurysm, I will also bypass blocked coronary arteries. A patient who needs coronary bypass surgery may also happen to have a left ventricular aneurysm. In most cases, patients undergoing aneurysm removal, with or without additional coronary bypass grafting, have a good chance of surviving the operation — usually in the range of 90 percent to 95 percent.

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