Abstract Thirty-five patients (10 men and 25 women) with a preoperative diagnosis of cardiac myxoma have undergone cardiac surgery since 1964 at the University of Louvain. The mean age of the patients was 49 (range 20–75) years. The most commonly encountered symptoms were: dyspnoea 49%; thoracic pain 26%; cough and peripheral embolism 17% each; stroke and preoperative atrial fibrillation 14% each; flutter 11%; expectoration, acute pulmonary oedema, syncope and transient ischaemic attack 6% each; and pulmonary embolism 3%. The different locations were: left atrium 66%; right atrium 26%; both atria 3%; right ventricle 3%: and retrohepatic vena cavae 3%. Septal implantation was found in 66%. Histological examination confirmed 28 myxomas but three ‘tumours’ were thrombi, two haemangiomas, one rhabdomyosarcoma and one liposarcoma. The follow-up has now reached 2829 months with an average of 81 months per patient (range 0–342 months). Three patients died early (9%) and there were four late deaths (11%). No cases were familial. Surgical resection is the correct treatment for cardiac myxomas and gives good long-term results.