Septal Defects Treatment
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Septal Defects
About 40% of all ASDs and many VSDs close on their own during the first year of life. Small ones are more likely to close without treatment.
An ASD that still exists at age 2 is unlikely to ever close on its own. If it is not closed in childhood, it may cause problems in adulthood; therefore, surgery is often recommended.
Small VSDs that do not close rarely cause problems. Medium and large VSDs may cause problems and need treatment, often in the first few months of life.
Most infants with AVSD have symptoms and need treatment.
Infants with signs of congestive heart failure often need to take medicine. When septal defect symptoms cannot be controlled with medicine or the heart continues to have to do extra work, surgery is often recommended to close the hole(s). In AVSD, surgery is usually necessary.
The type of surgery used most often for septal defects is open-heart surgery. The hole is closed with stitches or a patch, depending on its size and shape. In AVSD, the abnormal valves are also repaired.
Some ASDs can be closed without surgery by placing a device in the septum hole during a cardiac catheterization. The device is inserted into the heart through a large vein. Both procedures have a very high success rate. Most patients go on to live a normal life, although a small number of those with AVSD have problems with repaired valves.
Living With Septal Defects
Children and adults with unrepaired VSDs and those who have had recent surgery to repair any defect may need antibiotics before certain medical and dental procedures. Among these procedures are:
- Dental cleaning
- Tooth extraction
- Orthodontic procedures (placing of braces on teeth)
- Certain examinations of, or operations on, the mouth or bladder