Thursday, July 3, 2014

Repairing an Atrial Septal Defect or "Hole in the Heart" in Children

Many parents may wonder when an atrial septal defect should be closed by surgery. The physician involved with the case will use several different factors to decide if your child needs surgery to close a hole in the heart. Surgery is not usually the first choice, because of the risk associated with anesthesia and other complications that might develop.

If the doctor notices that there is persistence of the atrial septal heart defect beyond 4 years of age, surgical intervention will be necessary. Also, if your child has other heart defects, such as a ventricular septal defect, or valvular anomalies, your physician will also encourage you to choose surgery to treat your child’s condition.

Children with refractory congestive heart failure and a septal heart defect may also be required to have surgery to treat their condition. Adults who have this issue may also require an operation.

If your doctor decides that repairs must be done to the heart in order to reduce symptoms, they generally choose one of the following techniques:
1. They may make an incision in the chest and close the hole in the heart using a patch or stitches. This is done under anesthesia and is referred to as open heart surgery.
2. They may insert a thin tube into a blood vessel which leads from the arm or the groin and conduct treatment using this tube. This is known as cardiac catheterization.

Source: Cdc.gov, "Facts About Atrial Septal Defect",
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/atrialseptaldefect.html

1 comment:

  1. Good information for families that have to address this

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