When does constrictive pericarditis warrant surgery?

I have been diagnosed with Constrictive Pericarditis and my pericardium is six to eight mm thick. Does this require surgery? If so how many per year of this type of surgery does the Texas Heart Institute perform?

Submitted by Dan from Chicago on 07/06/2015

Constrictive pericarditis will lead to permanent heart failure and death. From the thickness of the pericardium, yours is an advanced case. Surgery is effective in most cases as long as the heart is not injured by an underlying cause, such as radiation or infection or tumor. There are tests to evaluate the heart for damage. These tests include 1) PET scan and 2) echocardiogram. Constrictive pericarditis is not rare and we have treated many patients over the past 30 years with this problem.