Alcohol Septal Ablation
Certain forms of cardiomyopathy can
make your heart muscle abnormally thick. As a result, your heart may work
harder to pump blood. In some people, this condition can be life threatening if
not treated. Alcohol septal ablation is a nonsurgical treatment that brings
nearly immediate and lasting relief for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is
one of few hospitals in North Carolina offering alcohol septal ablation.
Alcohol Septal Ablation Treatment for
(HCM) is a condition that causes a heart muscle, known as the septum, to
enlarge or “hypertrophy.” HCM treatment
decreases the thickened muscle, restoring normal blood flow. Many patients get
better with surgery. However, if you are not a candidate for surgery, the
specialists at the Heart and Vascular Center offer a full spectrum of cardiac
care, including alcohol septal ablation.
ablation is a nonsurgical procedure in which we inject a small amount of pure
alcohol directly into your heart muscle. This causes that part of the muscle to
shrink, allowing blood to flow more freely.
Ablation at Wake Forest
We perform alcohol septal ablation in a
hybrid catheterization lab dedicated solely to heart and vascular care
procedures. The first of its kind in the Piedmont region, this unique setting
combines sophisticated imaging technology with surgical suite capabilities. A
catheter-based procedure, our experts perform alcohol septal ablation using
highly specialized instruments inserted through a tiny incision in one of your
Here’s how alcohol septal ablation works:
- You will be awake for this procedure. We use medicine to numb the skin
around your incision area so you won’t feel any pain.
- We insert a small needle into your vein. Next, using catheters (thin tubes),
we access the arteries near your heart.
- Using a special dye, we make your arteries visible using special
imaging equipment such as an echocardiogram.
- Our interventional cardiologist pinpoints the blood vessel within your
septum responsible for the enlarged tissue.
- We thread a catheter with a balloon tip through your arteries to this
- We inflate the balloon to temporarily block
the septal artery and make sure the alcohol remains in the correct area.
- We inject a small amount of pure alcohol and
wait five to 10 minutes to prevent any leakage to other parts of your heart.
procedure is now complete, and we remove the catheter.
should expect to feel better immediately. However we’ll need to monitor your
heart for the next few days using a temporary pacemaker.
may need to stay at the hospital during this time.
New patients may request
an appointment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy online. Or, for more
information, please call:
- 336-716-WAKE or