Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Repair

A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole in the wall between the ventricles, the two lower chambers of the heart. The board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Heart Institute typically use surgery to repair VSDs if they do not close on their own, are too large, related symptoms are hard to control with medicines, or your child isn’t growing.

Interventional cardiologists may be able to repair less complex VSDs by using a catheter to implant an FDA-approved device to close the hole.

The interventional cardiologists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will thread the catheter — a thin tube — through a large blood vessel unitl the catheter reaches  the heart. The interventional cardiologist will place the closure device in the precise location to repair the VSD.

VSD repair with open heart surgery

Surgeons typically repair large VSDs with open heart surgery in infancy or childhood. Even if the child currently has few symptoms, physicians may recommend surgery to prevent complications laterwhen VSDs are large.

Surgeons often will use a patch to cover the hole. The patch may be a piece of lining from around the outside of the heart, called pericardium, or made of a special synthetic material. As your child grows, heart tissue will grow over the patch and it becomes a permanent part of the heart.

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 VSD.

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.

VSD repair complications and after-care

In 99 percent of cases , patients have few or no complications after surgery to repair a VSD. After your child’s VSD repair, your child  can expect to live a their life with no restrictions. Your child will still need regular checkups with a pediatric cardiologist as he or she grows.

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.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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