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Hey everyone,

There was this reunion at the school where I used to study. I'm not a big fan of those kind of things but I went anyway, why not. I met a very good friend of mine there, at least we were very good friends back in those days. We talked during the whole time, he is doing great, has a good job, wife and two kids, and he has a condition or disease called atrial myxoma. He just found out two days earlier and he seemed very concerned about it, he said that he might even have to undergo surgery.

Can anyone tell me what is atrial myxoma and is surgery necessary for treating it?

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Hey Health n joy,

Atrial myxoma is the most common primary heart tumor. It can be pretty hard to diagnose this one at its very beginning so I'm guessing that your friend might be in the mid or late stage already. However, as far as I know, these tumors are mostly benign (even though they are on the heart, they aren't so dangerous) and they can easily be removed by a surgery, so yes, surgery is necessary for the removal of this tumor but like I said, it isn't usually dangerous, although it can be. I have a friend who had this and who successfully got rid of it.

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Hi there. It can be pretty nasty. My aunt had this, she was a 53-year-old female and she had an ischemic stroke that actually was combined with atrial fibrillation. I know how she was in pain and it was a torture for her. It is very important to know that myxoma, which is a benign cardiac tumor, is frequently confused with thrombus. This prevents a proper treatment and I don't know is it good or not, but to my aunt doctor suggested atrial fibrillation treatment. My point is that you really need to check twice or more when you are seeking treatments like this one. 

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Hey Stradivarius,

I thank you for your answer, but not as much as I thank you for the positivity of your answer, I really expected it to be something very serious and maybe life threatening, since he said that he has to undergo surgery.

Does anyone know if the procedure itself is dangerous? Were there any cases in which somebody died during the surgery, or had some long lasting consequences? Are there any other treatment options for this? I'm asking just in case, I'm aware that this is a tumor and tumors can't really be treated in another way than just with a surgery.

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Hey guys,

No, Health n joy, there are no other treatment options for this, only two different possible types of surgeries, and both end with the same result. Both of these are good and none of these two are dangerous, and hence I know of no case when a person died during or because of these surgeries.

However, the probability of recurrence of the atrial myxoma is quite high. It is recommended that people who had atrial myxoma and removed it with a surgery have a regular electrocardiography follow up in order to check from time to time if the tumor is back.

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Good day there. I don’t know much about it, but recently I have heard about this.
And I know that it is dangerous.
Atrial myxomas are the most common primary heart tumors unfortunately. Because of nonspecific symptoms, early diagnosis may be very huge challenge even for the doctors who have a lot of experience. Left atrial myxoma may or may not produce characteristic findings on auscultation. Two-dimensional echocardiography is the diagnostic procedure of choice. Most atrial myxomas are benign and can be removed by surgical resection. This surgery definitely can be dangerous and everyone needs to be prepared to it.
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Unfortunately, my friend was dealing with it. And he is still dealing with it and I can tell you that this can be extremely dangerous. You need to know that Myxomas are polypoid, round, or oval. They are gelatinous with a smooth or lobulated surface and usually are white, yellowish, or brown. The most common site of attachment is at the border of the fossa ovalis in the left atrium, although myxomas can also originate from the posterior atrial wall, the anterior atrial wall, or the atrial appendage. The mobility of the tumor depends upon the extent of attachment to the interatrial septum and the length of the stalk.

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Good day everyone.

This is a heart disorder. This disease actually means that the tumor started within the heart. Most heart tumors start somewhere else. Primary cardiac tumors are very rare. Myxomas are the most common type of these rare tumors. About 75% of myxomas occur in the left atrium of the heart, usually beginning in the wall that divides the two upper chambers of the heart. The rest are in the right atrium. Right atrial myxomas are sometimes associated with tricuspid stenosis and atrial fibrillation. I am not sure is this treatable but I do know that surgery is definitely needed.

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Hey. The treatment always depends on the fact is it right or left atrial myoxoma. But doctors will tell you about it, don’t be afraid.

Conventional treatment of atrial myxoma is almost always surgical removal by median sternotomy. Minithoracotomy with robotically assisted surgery has been reported, resulting in a shorter length of hospital stay, and it is considered a safe and feasible method for atrial myxoma excision. The investigators did not observe any difference in the quality of life between the two strategies. So definitely yes, surgery is needed for the treatment if you have it and you want to remain healthy. Good luck. 

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This is very serious condition.

My good friend was dealing with it and I believe that she had problems with right atrial myxoma.  Almost a half of all primary heart tumors are myxomas and three fourths of myxomas occur in the left atrium, the chamber of the heart that receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs. Myxomas usually develop in women, typically between the ages of 40 and 60.

Some uncommon types of myxomas run in families. These hereditary myxomas (part of Carney complex, a syndrome of various noncancerous tumors) usually develop in young men in their mid-20s, and they can occur in one or more of any of the chambers of the heart.

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I had an atrial myxoma and had open heart surgery to remove it. Surgery is necessary and the only treatment. Surgery is curative and people who have the surgery generally love just as long as unaffected people. Untreated it is very dangerous.
Open heart surgery is a big surgery but it is well understood. I was in hospital for 5 nights after the surgery and the recovery took a few months. I am fine & better than ever now.
Recurrence rates are typically around 3% and annual echocardiogram scare needed to monitor.
You don't say how old your friend is. Typically myxomas occur in women around 55 years old. If he is much younger then there is a chance he has a familial type which has a higher rate of recurrence.
Wishing him all the best.
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You didn't have the recurrence? My friend is about 35-36 years old, could it be less dangerous for him since he is younger? I didn't ask him about his family, it didn't cross my mind but I think that it would be a bit inappropriate anyway.
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I only had the surgery 18 months ago. No recurrence yet! Typically re-occurrences take several years to show, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
35 is young to get one, so maybe your friend does risk having a higher chance of recurrence. Mind, my doctors were pretty laid back about it - if I got it again they said they would just go in and do the op again!
Your friend should recover more quickly than me. I was 56 when I had my op.
All the best.
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Ps meant to say, it is just as dangerous no matter what your age. As the myxoma grows, it will start to block and damage the heart valves and start to shed bits that go into the bloodstream and cause strokes (that is how I was diagnosed). Your friend should have the surgery as a matter of urgency unless his doctor advises otherwise.
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Well, regarding how your doctors were so relaxed about it reoccurring, I'm guessing that the surgery itself isn't as dangerous as it would appear to someone, although open heart surgery are dangerous anyway. This would lead to a conclusion that the doctors shouldn't really be so relaxed about it.

I'm glad that you recovered in a couple of months, I know that for some people it might even take ages, but I suppose that that depends on how strong is the will of a person.
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