Can fibrosis be removed surgically?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

Fibrosis can be removed surgically in certain cases. One condition in which surgical removal of fibrosis is commonly performed is endomyocardial fibrosis.

Endomyocardial fibrosis is a rare disease characterized by the deposition of fibrous tissue within the lining of the heart chambers, particularly the ventricles. This fibrous tissue can impair the normal functioning of the heart and lead to symptoms such as heart failure, arrhythmias, and blood clots.

The classic surgical technique for the treatment of endomyocardial fibrosis involves the complete removal of fibrosis from both ventricles. In order to achieve this, each atrioventricular (AV) valve, which separates the atria from the ventricles, is removed and replaced with a prosthesis.

The surgical procedure begins with the removal of the fibrous tissue from the ventricles. This is done carefully to ensure that all the fibrosis is completely excised. Once the fibrosis is removed, the AV valve is excised as well, and a prosthetic valve is implanted in its place. This allows for normal blood flow between the atria and the ventricles.

The decision to perform surgery for endomyocardial fibrosis depends on several factors, including the severity of symptoms, the extent of fibrosis, and the overall condition of the patient. In some cases, the fibrosis may be too extensive or involve critical structures of the heart, making surgical removal difficult or impossible.

It is important to note that surgical treatment of endomyocardial fibrosis is not without risks. The procedure itself carries the usual risks associated with open-heart surgery, including bleeding, infection, and complications related to anesthesia. Additionally, there is a risk of complications specific to the replacement of the AV valves, such as valve dysfunction or thrombosis.

In recent years, there have been advancements in surgical techniques for the treatment of endomyocardial fibrosis, including minimally invasive approaches. These techniques aim to reduce the invasiveness of the procedure and improve patient outcomes. However, the classic technique of removing the AV valves and replacing them with prostheses remains the standard treatment in many cases.

Fibrosis can be removed surgically in certain cases, such as endomyocardial fibrosis. The classic surgical technique for the treatment of this condition involves the complete removal of fibrosis from both ventricles by removing and replacing each AV valve with a prosthesis. However, the decision to perform surgery depends on various factors, and the procedure is not without risks. Advances in surgical techniques continue to improve outcomes for patients with endomyocardial fibrosis.