Definition of Myxoma (Heart Tumor), Treatment and Surgery

MyxomaMyxoma is a nonmalignant tumor that grows in the heart, nearly always in one of the atria and most commonly in the left atrium.

Myxoma arises from the endocardium and may be either firm or soft in consistency.

The tumor can block the flow of blood through the atrium, interfere with the function of the heart valves, or break apart to send fragments into the blood circulation that cause embolism (sudden blockage of an artery) elsewhere in the body.

Soft myxomas are more likely to fragment; firm myxomas are more likely to be occlusive.

As a myxoma grows it causes increasing turbulence in the blood as it flows through the chamber, presenting a significant risk for the formation of blood clots.

Echocardiogram generally provides definitive diagnosis. Treatment is open heart surgery to remove the tumor. Once removed, the tumor results in no residual consequences.

Myxoma is most common in people between the ages of 30 years and 60 years.


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