Although atrial myxomas are not cancerous, complications are common. If left untreated, they can embolise (tumour cells breaking off and traveling with the bloodstream). This can block blood flow or cause the myxoma to grow in another part of the body. Myxoma fragments can move to the brain, eye, or limbs.
If the tumour grows inside the heart, it can block blood flow through the mitral (left) or tricuspid (right) valve and cause symptoms of
mitral or tricuspid stenosis. This may require emergency surgery to prevent sudden death.
The tumour must be surgically removed and some patients may need their mitral valve or tricuspid valve replaced as well.
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