Alcohol Septal Ablation

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If you have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a genetic heart disorder that can make it harder for your heart to pump blood, your doctor may recommend treating your condition using alcohol septal ablation.


This catheter-based procedure uses a small amount of pure alcohol to destroy the abnormally thickened heart muscle — improving blood flow in and out of your heart.

Our Approach to Treating HCM Using Alcohol Septal Ablation

At Houston Methodist, our specialists are experts in the nonsurgical and surgical techniques required to treat HCM, including alcohol septal ablation. In fact, Houston Methodist was the first hospital in the U.S. to perform this procedure.


Leveraging their extensive expertise and state-of-the-art tools and imaging, our HCM experts offer exceptional care and outcomes.

How Alcohol Septal Ablation Is Performed

Doctors perform alcohol septal ablation in a special operating room called a cardiac catheterization laboratory, or cath lab.


After receiving sedatives and local anesthetic, your doctor will make a small incision in your arm and groin and insert a catheter.


Guided by an imaging method called fluoroscopy, the catheter is then navigated to the small artery that nourishes the wall between your heart's two lower chambers (the interventricular septum). Then, your doctor will inject a small amount of pure alcohol into the artery, causing a very controlled amount of damage to the thickened part of the septum. A thinner layer of scar tissue replaces the damaged part of the septum, reducing the obstruction and improving blood flow.

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