Atrial Septal Defect Closure
What is Atrial Septal Defect Closure?
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a birth defect (congenital) in which there is an abnormal hole in the part of the septum that separates the upper chamber of the heart. Many babies are born with ASD and have no sign or symptoms although a heart murmur is the most common when signs or symptoms do occur. The hole can vary in size and may close on its own, or it may need to be repaired with surgery. Most problems of an ASD don’t show up until adulthood, and complications are rare in infants and children. Complications of an ASD may include fatigue, shortness of breath, fluid buildup in the lungs, feet, ankles and legs. If an ASD doesn’t close on its own and is not repaired, it can cause extra blood to flow to the right side of heart and lungs that may cause damage and increase the risk of heart failure.
Atrial Septal Defect Closure Potential Risks and Complications
Complications are rare during an ASD closure procedure, but may include:
- Allergic reaction to the dye used in the imaging process.
- Blood loss requiring a blood transfusion.
Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of this procedure so you can make an informed decision.
Preparing for Atrial Septal Defect Closure
You doctor will give you specific instructions prior to the procedure, which may include:
What to Expect
What to Expect During a Atrial Septal Defect Closure
During the Procedure
Your doctor will evaluate your condition and may recommend one of two procedures:
Cardiac catheterization in which your doctor inserts a thin catheter into a blood vessel in your groin and guides it using imaging to place a patch to close the hole. Your doctor may use echocardiography and angiography.
Minimally invasive open-heart surgery
Minimally invasive open-heart surgery uses small incisions in your chest to repair the ASD.
Follow-up Care After Atrial Septal Defect Closure
Follow-up care will depend on the type of defect and whether other conditions are present. After closure, the lining of the heart wall grows over the patch and seals the hole completely usually within three months. You may need to have periodic echocardiograms and follow-up appointments with your cardiologist throughout your life to make sure you do not have further complications such as pulmonary hypertension, arrhythmias or valve problems. Your cardiologist will discuss your follow-up monitoring appointments.