Conditions & Treatments
Working closely with our cardiology, radiology and oncology teams, Einstein Healthcare Network’s heart surgery specialists deliver a personalized, comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating cardiac tumors.
While most cardiac tumors are noncancerous, they can still interfere with normal heart function depending on the size and location and may cause serious problems. In rare cases, a small piece of a tumor can disconnect, enter the bloodstream and form blockages that interfere with blood flow to vital organs.
There are several types of tumors which can affect the heart. These include:
A myxoma is a noncancerous tumor with a jellylike in consistency. Myxomas often grow from a stalk and swing freely, which may plug and unplug the nearby valve over and over again, so that blood flow stops and starts intermittently.
Cardiac sarcomas, also known as angiosarcomas, often occur in the right upper chamber of the heart. The tumor blocks blood flow, causing symptoms like chest pain and swelling of the feet, legs, ankles, or abdomen. It may also cause the veins in your neck to stand out. This is because the blood coming back to the heart after traveling through the body can’t easily go into or be pumped out of the right atrium.
Fibroelastomas are small, noncancerous tumors which develop in the heart — most often on one of the valves located between the heart chambers. They can increase your risk of developing blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the tumor.
Our skilled team of heart surgeons are experts in procedures to treat cardiac tumors, including the following:
When possible, tumor resection can be performed with small incisions to the side of the chest. A catheter is pushed through the blood vessels to the surgical site. The tumor and surrounding tissue are cut and removed through the catheter tube.
Minimally invasive procedures benefit the patient in many ways over traditional open-heart surgery, including:
- Smaller incisions
- Less bleeding
- Lower risk of infection
- Faster healing time
- Shorter hospital stays
If your individual case requires traditional open-heart surgery to remove cardiac tumors, your Einstein surgical team will discuss all your options, creating a plan that works for you and your family.
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