ASD closure or repair refers to the treatment of the atrial septal defect, a congenital heart disease that is characterized by a hole in the septa that divides the two atria (upper chambers of the heart). The disease is present in patients from childhood but sometimes, the ASDs close on their own. In other cases, the symptoms surface in adulthood. The hole in the septa causes the pure and impure blood to mix, which affects the patient’s health and causes breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, and respiratory infections. The hole is fixed through surgery either by repair or closure.
When is it performed?
ASD closure is performed in patients suffering from atrial septal defect whose hole in the heart has not closed on its own. It is performed only after medication fails to give relief to the patient from the symptoms. When the doctor is confirmed that the hole would not close on its own, they advise repair or closure.
How is it performed?
ASD closure or repair is performed under general anesthesia and the surgery can take a couple of hours. The surgeon makes an incision in the chest and then connects the heart to a machine that continues pumping blood to the body during the surgery. After accessing the hole, the surgeon closes it with sutures or repairs it with a biological patch. Lastly, the incision is sealed with sutures. In another closure method, that is, cardiac catheterization, a catheter is inserted in the groin and guided to the heart where a mesh material is placed over the hole to close the defect.
The patient is discharged after two to four days, depending on their condition. In the initial phase, it is normal to experience pain and swelling in the chest region but it goes away with medications. The patient can resume normal routine after a couple of weeks but physically exhaustive activities must be avoided before complete recovery. If the patient experiences any inconvenience, they should consult the doctor immediately.