Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the atria, the two upper chambers of the heart. An ASD may close on its own without any treatment. Small ASDs close on their own as often as 80 percent of the time. Medication won’t shrink an ASD or repair it

If the ASD is still present as your child gets older, it may need to be repaired. One way to repair an ASD is through open heart surgery.  Another way, if the
ASD is small enough, is to have an interventional cardiologist perform the repair using a catheter to implant a device that closes the hole. This kind of procedure avoids open heart surgery.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved devices for ASD repairs

The interventional cardiologist precisely threads a catheter through a large blood vessel to the heart and through the ASD. The device is then opened and positioned in the  atrial septal defect, occluding the hole. —.

Benefits of this procedure include:

  • Avoiding open heart surgery
  • Less scarring
  • Less trauma
  • Quicker recovery

Atrial septal defect repair with open heart surgery

With advances in interventional cardiology, open heart surgery to repair ASDs has become less common in recent years.

However, if the position of the ASD makes an interventional cardiology procedure less effective, if your child has other heart defects, or if the ASD is too large, open heart surgery may be the only repair option.

If open heart surgery is needed, the surgeon may be able to close the hole with stitches. For larger ASDs, repair usually requires a patch. This patch can be taken from the pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart) or made of synthetic material.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.  We have the pediatric cardiologists, interventional pediatric cardiologists, and pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons available to decide which treatment option will be best to address your child’s ASD.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services conveniently located throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Atrial septal defect closure complications and after-care

In more than 99 percent of cases, patients have no complications after an ASD repair. Success rates also are high for  catheter device placements.

Your child should have no difficulty with physical activity or restrictions after ASD repair.

Your child will need to continue with regular follow-up appointments with a pediatric cardiologist to make sure problems do not occur as your child ages or in adulthood.

Why choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced cardiac intensive care unit available.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
Heart – 2929

Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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