Is there a chance that the enlarged left atrium will be smaller over time after the reasons for the enlargement were cured?

I have a large left atrium of 7 cm that was caused by Mitral valve severe regurgitation and Afib.

I had an open heart surgery to repair the mitral valve and Maze procedure that cured my Afib .

While my Lvidd size reduced from 6 cm to 4.6 cm within 6 months the left atrium size have not changed.

Is there a chance that the left atrium will be smaller over time?

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  • I'm no expert but understand that AF related atrial enlargement can reverse.

  • Think Bob is right- I have read this can revert to smaller size as the heart muscle gets back to normal

  • So I am looking forward to it. Any idea how long it will take or it depends on the individual?

  • Thank you, I hope...

  • As an aside to your question Ben can I ask how long ago you had your maze procedure and what is the prognosis? Cured for life or like ablations, might the AF return?

  • I had a Maze procedure 6 months ago together with Mitral valve and Tricuspid valve repair.

    I had severe leaking valves an asymptomatic A-Fib.

    There is no guarantee for how long it will be cured and I monitor it.

    At least for now I am out of Cummadin !!!

  • Hi. I was diagnosed with dilated cardio myopathy 15 years ago (left...) Once diagnosed and treated and the AF being treated, Over the years I have now been told I no longer have dilated cardio myopathy (or any other) and that once the cause was removed (alcohol) the left... began to shrink back. In my case it took time but I now am recorded as reversed left ... and no cardio myopathy. However I'm stuck with the AF.

  • Hi, I was interested in your comment as I had dilated cardio myopathy diagnosed about 5 years ago, possibly alcohol related, I also have AF about once a month. I gave up all alcohol about a year ago and I think I am just seeing a reduction in AF but not sure yet. It will be interesting to see if my "large flappy heart" goes back to anything smaller. I also keep fit by doing lots of cycling which I think also helps.

  • If it was alcohol related the dilated c m should reduce over time. Might take a while. But with me the AF did not reduce with it. Unfortunately it does not follow that the c m gone the AF goes with it. Be well.

  • Thank you !

  • I too have been told to remove the alcohol. I'm 9 months into recovery now-do you think that's enough time for shrinkage of the atrium? Can I ask how old you are? I'm 53

  • Hi Ben. I can't speak specifically for your condition, but I suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy which possibly caused my AF (or vice versa). After a cardiac rehab course and excercise over a couple of years my heart went back to near normal size, and my left atria though large is smaller than it was. Sadly I'm left with permanent AF as successive cardioversions and drug therapies haven't in the end enabled me to return to NSR though I did manage this for periods of up to 4 years

  • Hi excalibur, I delayed my surgery for 7 years doing mainly Tibetan Yoga and visiting the Gym while taking Cummadin. My heart efficiency (%EF) was maintained normal.

    I was advised by my cardiologist to do the surgery while I am in good shape and not in emergency.

    I am now in better shape, no A-Fib and Cummadin.

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