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Non-Surgical and Surgical Closure of Heart Holes

Introduction


Almost 1% of live births are reported with congenital abnormalities of the heart and cardiovascular system and about half of these children need medical or surgical help during infancy. The defects can be associated with the valves of the heart, the walls of the heart, and the arteries and veins fusing with the heart.

ASD


An Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) is a defect which features a hole in the wall between the atria (the two upper chambers) of the heart. Small Atrial Septal Defects generally close naturally during infancy or early childhood and thus, may never cause a problem. On the other hand, Atrial Septal Defects when go undetected for a long period of time can cause serious damage to the heart and the lungs of the baby. Surgery may become obligatory for repairing Atrial Septal Defects to prevent complications in the long run.

VSD


A Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) refers to a sustained hole in the heart present since when the baby is born. The hole transpires in the wall which separates the heart's lower chambers or Septums and allows blood to flow from the left side of the heart to the right side. This leads to pumping of the oxygen-rich blood to the lungs instead of getting circulated in the body thus, resulting in an increased pressure on the heart.
A ventricular Septal defect which is small in size may close on its own and has nothing to worry about. However, larger VSDs can land the patient into serious complications and so, require surgical repair early in life.

PDA


Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a persistent opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart, is a congenital birth defect. Before birth, there is a small opening, called the Ductus Arteriosus which makes a normal part of a baby's circulatory system then. It usually closes shortly after birth. However, in some cases it may remain open after birth and grow in size. This condition is called a Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA. If left untreated, Patent Ductus Arteriosus can allow poorly oxygenated blood to run in the wrong direction, weaken the heart muscle and cause heart failure and lead to other complications. Treatment options for a PDA include examinations, medications and shutting down the opening by cardiac catheterization or surgery.

Treatments


Specialized surgeries for treatment of congenital heart defects are undertaken at Metro Group of Hospital. Pioneered open heart surgeries and catheter procedures are performed successfully at the center by a team of highly skilled surgeons equipped with state of art instruments.

Catheter procedures


Instead of dissecting the chest to operate on the heart, in this procedure, a thin tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel (in the groin or arm) and is threaded to the heart skillfully through blood vessels guided by imaging techniques. The catheter enables the doctor to lay a mesh patch or plug into place to close the hole. Eventually, the heart tissue grows around the mesh and the hole is sealed permanently.

Open-heart Surgery


When the condition can’t be managed solely by medications, an open-heart surgery might be recommended. This surgery is carried out under the influence of general Anaesthesia and requires the use of a heart-lung machine to substitute the essential functions of the heart and the lungs during the surgery. A small cut is placed between the child's ribs to reach his heart and the defect is repaired using stitches or clips.
After the surgery, the patient is kept in the hospital for several days for observation. It usually takes a few weeks for a child to fully recover from open-heart surgery.
Hospital stay and recovery time are shorter and quicker in case of a minimally invasive surgery.