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Open Heart Surgery

Ventricular Septal Defect Closure

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Ventricular Septal Defect Closure


What is a ventricular septal Defect (VSD)?

A ventricular septal defect is an opening in the ventricular septum, or dividing wall between the two lower chambers of the heart known as the right and left ventricles. VSD is a congenital (present at birth) heart defect. As the fetus is growing, something occurs to affect heart development during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, resulting in a VSD.

Normally, oxygen-poor (blue) blood returns to the right atrium from the body, travels to the right ventricle, then is pumped into the lungs where it receives oxygen. Oxygen-rich (red) blood returns to the left atrium from the lungs, passes into the left ventricle, and then is pumped out to the body through the aorta.

A ventricular septal defect allows oxygen-rich (red) blood to pass from the left ventricle, through the opening in the septum, and then mix with oxygen-poor (blue) blood in the right ventricle.

Surgical Repair

The goal is to repair the septal opening before the lungs become diseased from too much blood flow and pressure. Repair is indicated for defects that are causing symptoms, such as poor weight gain and rapid breathing. Your child's cardiologist will recommend when the repair should be performed based on echocardiogram and cardiac catheterization results.

The operation is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the size of the heart defect and your physician's recommendations, the ventricular septal defect will be closed with stitches or a special patch.