TMR (Transmyocardial laser Revascularization)
Diagnosis & Testing
What Types of Tests Will I Need to Determine If I Am a Candidate?
Your doctor will first evaluate your medical condition and review your medical history. Tests required before TMR may include:
- Cardiac catheterization, to visualize your coronary arteries and see if any blockages are present.
- Other tests to determine blood flow to your heart muscle and the pumping ability of your heart, such as:
- PET (Positron Emission Tomography) study (a newer test that can evaluate the function of the heart.)
- Dobutamine Echocardiography
- Cardiac MRI
After reviewing your medical condition and history, along with your test results, your doctor will decide if you are a candidate for the TMR procedure. If you are eligible, the doctor will discuss the benefits and risks.
Does TMR Work?
In a study – published by The New England Journal of Medicine (1999), 72% of patients who had TMR experienced an improvement in angina symptoms after 12 months, compared to only 13% patients who were receiving medications for the treatment of their angina symptoms. The study concluded that TMR patients had:
- Relief of chest pain.
- Improved quality of life.
- Improved blood flow to the heart.
- Decreased hospital admissions.
Research is currently underway to evaluate TMR patients for symptom relief and long-term outcomes.
Is TMR Covered by Insurance?
TMR is covered by most insurance companies. Ask your insurance company if you have coverage for this procedure.
How Long Is the Hospital Stay?
The hospital stay is about four to seven days. The length of stay depends on your overall health and rate of recovery. Your doctor and surgeon will evaluate you after the surgery and determine when you should return home.
Will I Have Improved Health After TMR?
After TMR, some patients feel immediate relief from angina symptoms, while in others it may take 3 or more months to feel improvement. Some patients do not have improved symptoms after TMR, but may have improved activity tolerance. After TMR, you may still be required to take medications to help your heart and improve blood flow to the heart. You will need to meet with a cardiologist for frequent follow-up visits so your progress after TMR can be evaluated.
How Active Can I be After TMR?
Your doctor will discuss specific activity guidelines that are appropriate for you after your procedure. A supervised cardiac rehabilitation program is recommended to help guide your recovery and help you progress your activity level.
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