Pericardiectomy is the process of removing a portion or all of the pericardium surgically. It is also called pericardial stripping. The reason for performing this surgery is constrictive pericarditis. It is a condition in which the pericardium becomes stiff and calcifies. The stiffness prevents the heart from stretching when it beats normally causing a reduction in the filling of blood as blood backs up behind the heart. Due to this, the heart swells and develops symptoms of heart failure.
Pericardiectomy is used to treat those who have recurrent pericarditis. The pericardium is not essential for the normal functioning of the heart. Those patients who have pericarditis, their pericardium has already lost its ability to lubricate, so removing it will make the situation better.