Surgical ventricular remodeling, or SVR, is a procedure that reshapes and restores efficiency to hearts that have become weakened and enlarged (left ventricular aneurysm), often due to a heart attack. Tissue damage creates scars that gradually grow and change the size and shape of the heart. If the altered shape of the left ventricle—the heart’s left lower chamber—renders it too weak to pump adequately, blood backs up and pools in the lungs, resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, a rapid heartbeat and/or chest pain (angina). By removing scarred or weakened muscle and returning the heart to its original shape, SVR allows it to pump blood more efficiently and prevents rupture of weakened heart tissue.
SVR is a traditional open surgery in which a heart-lung machine keeps the body functioning while the heart is stopped and the patient is under general anesthesia. The surgeon locates, and may remove, the scar tissue in the left ventricle. Then, using stitches or both stitches and a patch, the surgeon permanently separates the scar tissue from the functioning heart muscle, then reuniting healthy sections of tissue to form a smaller, more powerful ventricle that can contract properly in order to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.