Transcatheter Alcohol ablation of Septal Hypertrophy (TASH) is a method of treating thickening of the heart muscle (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy ) that can obstruct the blood flow from the heart (Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy). It involves staging a small, managed heart attack to kill off the thickened tissue, restoring blood flow.

Hypertrophic (Obstructive) Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic (Obstructive) Cardiomyopathy (HCM / HOCM) is a condition where, usually due to genetic factors, the muscle that makes up the heart’s pumping chambers grows too thick. This thickening can obstruct the flow of blood out from the heart’s main pumping chamber into the rest of the body. One potential treatment option for HOCM, where medications are no longer effective to control symptoms, is Transcatheter Alcohol ablation of Septal Hypertrophy (TASH).

The TASH procedure

The Transcatheter Alcohol ablation of Septal Hypertrophy (TASH) procedure involves the following:

  • General anaesthetic (fully put to sleep) with a breathing machine to support breathing.
  • An ultrasound probe (transoesophageal echocardiogram probe) is placed down your oesophagus to visualise the heart.
  • Tubes are also inserted in the veins in the neck and or leg in addition to a tube in the artery in the arm / wrist or leg (groin). These tubes are called sheaths.
  • A temporary pacemaker may be inserted via the tubes in the veins.
  • A tube called a catheter is advanced up to the heart under X-ray and a wire is positioned into the septal artery.
  • A balloon is steered down this wire to block the artery and allow for near 98 per cent alcohol (ethanol) to be injected into the artery (and nowhere else).
  • This causes the heart muscle in this area to die (a type of permanent heart attack) reducing the amount of thickened muscle.

The information here is for general reference only. To understand the benefits and risks specific to your condition and overall situation, please discuss the procedure with your treating doctor.

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