Left ventricular reconstruction surgery is a procedure employed to repair the left lower pumping chamber of the heart that has been damaged during a heart attack. When a heart attack occurs in the left ventricle, scar tissue forms and weakens the wall of the ventricle, causing it to bulge. This bulging thin area is called a left ventricular aneurysm (see image to the right).
The aneurysm, along with other heart problems, makes your heart larger than normal, decreasing its ability to pump blood to the body, eventually resulting in heart failure. The goal of left ventricular reconstructive surgery is to improve the pumping ability of your heart, thereby reducing heart failure or angina (chest pain) symptoms.
During left ventricular reconstruction surgery, a small incision is made in the left ventricle at the location of the dead or scarred tissue. The surgeon removes the scarred area of heart tissue and the aneurysm, and returns the left ventricle to a normal conical shape. To assist in the reconstruction, a small patch is sewn into place to replace the tissue that is removed. As a result, the ventricle goes back to a more normal size.
In addition to this procedure, your surgeon may also perform other procedures such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) or valve repair surgery, if needed. Prior to ventricular reconstruction surgery, a heart transplant was the only possible treatment option for patients with large left ventricular aneurysms.