About Hole in Heart Septal Defects; Atrial Septal Defect, Ventricular Septal Defect Repair Surgery

A septal defect means you have a hole in your heart’s septum. Your septum is a membranous wall that runs between the two side of the heart.

Septal defects are congenital. And if the hole in your heart is big enough, then a substantial mixing of oxygenated and non-oxygenated blood can occur causing an oxygen deficiency to your periphery.

What causes septal defects is largely unknown. However, while pregnant, certain health related situations can increase the risk that your child will be born with hole in heart defect or other congenital heart defects, like:

Atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect are two types of septal birth defects.

Atrial septal defect means the hole in heart is in the septum dividing the upper chambers, the right and left atria. This heart hole allows oxygenated blood from your left atrium to flow into the right, rather than into your left ventricle as it should.

Small atrial septal defects may never cause you any health problems because they can close on their own before its discovered. However, larger holes may cause you some of these symptoms:

These symptoms may not present until adulthood or well beyond.

Should a large atrial septal defect go undetected for many years, your heart and lung can sustain damage. This damage, along with some other related factors, increases the likelihood for these health complications:

Repair surgery is usually required to prevent these plausible consequences of atrial septal defects.

A ventricular septal defect is a hole in heart that’s in the septum separating the right and left ventricle. Again, the primary health effect of this hole is blood mixing. And symptoms and complications of a substantial heart hole in ventricular septum essentially mimic those of atrial septal defect.

The smaller sized holes of ventricular septal defects might close on their own or cause you very little problems during your lifetime. So, watchful waiting may be recommended initially. Whereas, appreciable sized ventricular septal defects are treatable with surgical repair as well.

For the small holes in your heart of septal defects that cause health problems, medications may be prescribed to reduce symptoms, like:

Albeit, none of these drugs repair the actual hole in heart.

For larger holes that don’t close on their own, repair of a septal defect is likely. Septal defect repair surgery involves plugging or patching the hole either via cardiac catheterization or open heart surgery.

During cardiac catheterization, a catheter (thin tube) is run up to your heart by way of a blood vessel in your groin. With the aid of this catheter, a mesh patch is placed close to your heart’s hole upon which tissue grows and permanently seals it. In contrast, open-heart surgery requires opening your chest up to actually patch or stitch the hole in your heart.

Sometimes septal defects and the corresponding repair surgery create heart surface changes to which bacteria gets stuck on and grows into an infection. What’s known as infective endocarditis. So under other surgical circumstances you may need to take antibiotics as a precaution. Although, atrial septal defects isn’t typically an associative cause for infective endocarditis.

On the flip side, many with septal defects lead healthy lives with few, if any, medical problems.