RRH’s cardiomyopathy program recognized

The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association (HCMA) recognized Rochester Regional Health a center of excellence for its cardiomyopathy program.

Centers of excellence are required to provide a multidisciplinary approach to treating HCM, including adult and pediatric cardiology services, genetic counseling, diet and nutrition education, psychological services, and support for families.

Rochester Regional Health’s Rochester General Hospital is the only HCMA recognized center of excellence in Western and Central New York.

“We are happy to welcome Rochester Regional to the HCMA family of recognized center of excellence programs in the USA,” said Lisa Salberg, founder and CEO of HCMA. “Patients and families with HCM in the Western New York region finally have a high volume HCM care within reach.”

“This recognition represents the collaborative effort of experts from different areas of medicine to come together to treat a serious disease,” said physician Bipul Baibhav, director of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy program at Rochester Regional Health. “Every patient who comes to us for help deserves to receive the best treatment possible and that includes tapping into every resource possible to save and prolong their life.”

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a complex, hereditary heart disease that often goes undetected for years and can lead to symptoms and occasionally death. In HCM the walls of the main pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) becomes thickened, restricting blood flow and sometimes causing leakage from the mitral valve. Symptoms can range from shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and irregular heart rhythms to more serious life-threatening conditions such as heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest.

HCM is a common form of heart muscle disease, affecting up to 1 million adults and children in the United States and 1 in 300 in the general population, many of which are young competitive athletes. Several gene mutations have been linked to the disease.

Diagnosis can involve an echocardiogram (ultrasound imaging), an electrocardiogram (EKG), a heart MRI and blood tests. Treatments include beta-blocking drugs or other medications that slow the heartrate, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and surgery to remove heart muscle tissue blocking blood flow.