Atrial Septal Defect Repair

What You Need to Know:

An Atrial Septal Defect Repair (ASD) is surgery to close a hole in the septum (wall) between the upper chambers of your heart. The upper chambers are called the right atrium and the left atrium. An ASD repair is done through open heart surgery.

  • You will stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery. You may spend the first one to two nights in the intensive care unit (ICU). You may have several drains and IVs, and you may be on a ventilator after surgery. A ventilator is a machine that gives you oxygen and breathes for you when you cannot breathe well on your own. An endotracheal (ET) tube is put into your mouth or nose and attached to the ventilator. The ET tube may be removed when you are awake and breathing well. You may need a blood transfusion to replace blood that is lost during surgery.
  • Your face and body may look swollen right after surgery. The swelling should go down in a few days. You may have pain where the incision was made. You will get medicine to control pain and make you comfortable. It is normal to feel tired at first, and get stronger each day.
  • It may take you several weeks to recover from surgery. During this time, you may need someone to help you with laundry, cooking and activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs include bathing, dressing and grooming. Talk to your healthcare provider if you do not have someone to help you at home. Healthcare providers may be able to come to your home and help you with ADLs. You may not be able to drive for several weeks. You may want to arrange for someone to drive you to appointments and errands during this time.

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