Atrial Septal Defect Repair in Children -- Transcatheter Procedure

An atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers (right and left atriums) of the heart. A transcatheter procedure is a minimally-invasive way to repair the hole. During this procedure, a device is implanted to seal the hole. As your child recovers, the device will trigger the heart tissue to grow. The tissue will slowly grow over the hole.

  • Call Your Child’s Doctor If Any of the Following Occurs


    After your child leaves the hospital, call the doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Increased sweating
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the catheter insertion site
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Dizziness, lightheadedness
    • Increased pain
    • Fatigue
    • Rash
    • Loss of appetite or poor feeding
    • Not drinking enough fluids
    • Not urinating

  • Definition


    An
    atrial septal defect
    is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers (right and left atriums) of the heart. A transcatheter procedure is a minimally-invasive way to repair the hole. During this procedure, a device is implanted to seal the hole. As your child recovers, the device will trigger the heart tissue to grow. The tissue will slowly grow over the hole.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure


    If a child is born with a hole between the upper chambers of the heart, the blood can flow backward into the right side of the heart and into the lungs. This triggers the heart to work harder. Over time, this can lead to damage to blood vessels in the lungs and
    congestive heart failure
    . The procedure is done to fix the hole.

    Blood Flow Through the Heart
    Blood Flow Through the Heart
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    Most children who have this procedure will have good outcomes.

  • Possible Complications


    Complications are rare, but no procedure is free of risk. Possible complications may include:

    • Bleeding at the point of the catheter insertion
    • Damage to arteries
    • Allergic reaction to x-ray dye
    • Blood clot formation

    • Infection, including
      endocarditis
      (infection of the inner lining of the heart muscle)
    • Reaction to the anesthesia (eg, light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing)
    • Blood clot formation
    • Arrhythmia
      (abnormal heart beat)

    Before your child's procedure, talk to the doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your child's risk of complications such as chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity.

    Low birth weight or a recent infection may increase the risk of complications.