Heart hole closure without surgery – here's what you need to know

Congenital heart defects change the normal flow of blood through the heart. Congenital defects are defects that are present in a baby right from birth time and can be of different types; holes in the heart are among the commonest congenital heart defects. The good thing is medical science has not only kept up, but has witnessed great advances and therefore, treatments like heart hole closure without surgery exist today and ensure that affected children survive to their adulthood and can live active and productive lives.

The normal heart

The heart has two sides separated by a wall called septum. The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen, while the left side of the heart pumps this oxygen rich blood throughout the body. The heart is also divided into four chambers (think about them as four separate rooms) and four valves.

The common heart holes

VSD (Ventricular Septal defect), ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) and PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) are the commonest holes found in the heart.

VSD is a hole in the interventricular septum or wall between two lower chambers. ASD, on the other hand, is the hole in interatrial septum, while PDA is actually an extra pipe that connects Aorta and Pulmonary Artery. Out of these three, VSDs are the most common hole type.

Heart hole closure without surgery

Catheter based treatments are increasingly favoured by doctors over  open heart surgery in India to treat the holes. With a catheter – a thin, flexible tube – the doctors only have to make a needle puncture on the body to treat the holes, while traditional surgery would have required them to cut open the chest wall or operate on the heart.

In catheter based procedure, doctors insert the catheter through Femoral Artery and Femoral Vein. The catheter is directed towards the heart hole; once the catheter reaches the hole, a Nitinol (nickel-titanium alloy) device or button is delivered to the site of the hole and finally it is released. Post procedure, all catheters are taken out of the body; the device, however, stays inside.

Technology has dramatically improved the success outcomes of this treatment that is also known as heart hole closure without surgery. The treatment is usually safe and effective. The possible complications can be well managed with medications; however, if the child experiences unusual discomfort or pain, the parents should immediately contact the doctor for advice.

Seek the treatment for congenital heart defects at the  best heart hospital in India that you can afford. Conditions like holes in hearts are treatable these days and kids can grow on to live healthy and productive lives. For more on heart hole closure without surgery and other congenital heart defects, you can read our other posts published here.

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