Cardiac tumors are abnormal growths in the heart muscle or its adjacent structures like heart valves. Cardiac tumors represent a relatively rare, yet challenging diagnosis.
A small percentage of patients with cardiac tumors have a family history of the condition. Sometimes, the tumors can be part of another health condition, such as NAME Syndrome, LAMB Syndrome or Carney Syndrome.
There are many types of cardiac tumors. It can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). It can also be divided as
#1 Primary Cardiac Tumor (that begin growing in the heart and stay there). Primary tumors affect only 1 in 1,000 to 100,000 people. The most common type of primary cardiac tumor is myxoma.
#2 Secondary Cardiac Tumor (that start in another part of the body and move to the heart). Secondary cardiac tumors are much more common than primary tumors since they do not start in the heart.
If your cardiac surgeon or consultant thinks you have a cardiac tumor, they will confirm it with following diagnosis: echocardiogram, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or radionuclide imaging.
Since cardiac tumors can lead to multiple problems with blood flow, a surgery to remove the tumor is usually a choice of treatment.
Generally removal required an open heart surgery. But in many case robotic surgery can be done using minimally invasive technique. During the surgery the cardiac surgeon removes the tumor tissue to reduce the risk of forming tumor again.
This is a complicated surgery and requires a still heart to operate. Hence a heart-lung machine will be used to stop down the beating of the heart. Recovery after traditional surgery is usually 4 to 5 days in the hospital, and 6 weeks total recovery time. For robotic surgery, the same shall be shorter depending on your health conditions.
With any tumour, the earlier it is diagnosed the more likely it is that it can be removed and cured.
What are the signs of a tumor near the heart?
Symptoms of a primary heart tumor include breathing problems, fainting, palpitations (rapid heart beat), chest pain, etc.
How common are cardiac tumors?
The most common type of primary cardiac tumor is myxoma. Most of these are benign. Patients of any age can develop a myxoma. Myxomas can grow in other areas of the heart or in the heart valves, but such growth is rare.
Are heart tumors hereditary?
Yes it could be. These hereditary tumors (myxomas) usually develop in young men in their mid-20s, and they can occur in one or more of any of the chambers of the heart.
Can we remove a tumor from heart?
The most common tumor of the heart is a benign atrial myxoma, which most frequently occurs in the left atrium. An open heart surgery is required to remove the cardiac tumor. Removal of these tumors is almost always curative and greatly reduces the risk of stroke.
How soon after surgery can I resume normal activity?
Typical recovery after traditional surgery is usually 4 to 5 days in the hospital, and 6 weeks total recovery time. For robotic surgery, the same shall be shorter depending on your health conditions.