Cardiovascular Surgery

Heart Tumors

They may basically arise from the heart or be caused by spread of tumors of adjacent or distant organs to the heart and be either benign or malignant.

Myxoma is the most common benign heart tumor and it is three times more often observed in women.

Malignant tumors of the heart often occur after the age of 40, and unlike benign tumors, they can be seen in both genders.

Symptoms of heart tumors include palpitations, chest tightness, fever, weight loss and anemia. The tumor takes up space in the heart so normal flow of blood is obstructed, resulting in impairment of heart's function of pumping blood to the body, and the patients show symptoms such shortness of breath, fainting, palpitations, fatigue and swelling in the body. The patients may encounter a condition we call an embolism as a result of occlusion of any vessel by small parts breaking off from the tumor. Embolism may cause transient or permanent paralysis or gangrene if it occurs in arm and leg arteries.

It is appropriate to surgically remove the tumor. After the diagnosis of the disease, surgery should be performed before encountering any conditions such as embolism or gangrene. The success of surgical treatment is lower in the case of malignant tumors. Therefore, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also be used to treat these patients.