Surgery for Atrium Myxoma

Surgery for Atrium Myxoma is done to remove a tumor that affects your heart.

October 7, 2022

Surgery for Atrium Myxoma is done to remove a tumor that affects your heart.

Some facts about Atrium Myxoma:

  • A cardiac myxoma is the most common noncancerous primary cardiac tumor that vary in size. 
  • Some myxoma are as small as one centimeter in diameter, where as others can be as large as 15 centimeters.
  • Most of the myxomas form in your left atrium, which is the top left chamber of your heart.
  • These are also are known as atrial myxomas because they form in your upper heart chambers
  • Myxomas usually grow from your atrial septum which is the muscular wall that separates your left atrium and right atrium and are  usually connected to the septum by a pedicle, which is a stalk that allows the myxoma to be mobile.
  • The tumor can cause problems with blood flow as it move and sway, sometimes dropping into one of your heart valves
  • Although, Myxomas are noncancerous, but they are still dangerous as they can interfere with your heart function. 
  • That's why people with myxomas need surgery to remove the tumors and prevent serious complications.
  • A physical exam and tests will be conducted to diagnose Myxoma.
  • A heart murmur can be caused by a Myxoma that has a characteristic 'tumor plop' sound which is the sound of the myxoma temporarily blocking your mitral valve.
  • Imaging tests such as Echocardiogram, Cardiac MRI, and Cardiac CT scans may be done along with some blood test including Low red blood cell count (anemia), Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), and High white blood cell count, which indicates inflammation. 

Procedure for Removal of Atrium Myxoma: 

  • Surgical removal by median sternotomy is the conventional treatment of atrial myxoma.
  • Minithoracotomy with robotically assisted surgery can also be done which will have a shorter length of hospital stay.
  • It is considered a safe and feasible method for atrial myxoma excision.
  • Surgical resection of the myxoma is the treatment of choice as there is no known medical treatment exists for atrial myxomia
  • Pericardial or PTFE patch can be used to close the surgical defect caused by excision of tumor. 
  • The risk of tumor fragmentation and embolization, vigorous palpation or manipulation is performed only after cardioplegia.
  • Repair or replacement is required for damaged valve
  • Recurrence of tumor usually occurs due to incomplete excision of tumor, growth from second focus or intracardiac implantation from primary tumor.
  • A less frequently used minimally invasive surgery can also be successful without any postoperative complications in some cases.
  • Right anterolateral minithoracotomy with incision of 4 to 6 cm can be applied in the surgery of cardiac tumors and is a good alternative technique, compared to standard open-heart surgery, for treating cardiac myxomas.
  • Although minimally invasive surgery is a promising technique for treating cardiac myxomas, it has multiple advantages comparing to standard open-heart surgery.
  • Lower complications rates, lower risk of infection, fewer arrhythmia events, less blood loss, shorter intensive care unit stay and hospital stay, higher patient satisfaction with cosmetic healing of the wound, scar appearance, and surgical care are some of the advantage of minimally invasive surgery.
  • Careful surgical management of these tumor can be curative with minimal early and late morbidity and mortality.