Heart Failure Surgery

Heart failure surgery is especially appropriate for patients with a pump and ejection fraction below 25 percent. Ejection fraction refers to the percentage of blood that leaves the heart each time it contracts. When the heart contracts, it ejects blood from the two ventricles; when the heart relaxes, the ventricles refill with blood. Because the left ventricle is the heart’s main pumping chamber, ejection fraction is usually measured only in the left ventricle, where typically between 55 to 70 percent of the blood is pumped out. An ejection fraction below 35 percent` may indicate heart failure.

Heart failure surgery includes left ventricle reconstruction, as well as mitral valve repair with coronary artery bypass surgery and biventricular pacing. These operations offer an alternative to heart transplant surgery for some patients. The results of these procedures have been good in many instances, in that many patients have been able to avoid heart transplantation for many years.