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It is a heart malformation present at birth. It can also be termed as congenital heart disease (CHD) as it is present from birth. A VSD heart has a hole in the septum between the two ventricles. This type of disorder can be approximated to be 1 in 500 babies. VSD is accounted for around 25 -35 % CHD.
When the heart pumps, the pressure generated while contraction by the left ventricle is much more than that generated by right ventricle. Blood will then be pushed through the shunted or VSD from left to right ventricle. In this procedure, the right ventricle has to an extra work to handle the extra blood volume. This affects the ability of heart in pumping properly. Under this high pressure, the lungs start getting more blood. This extra pressure leads to the permanent damage to the lungs.
Atrial septal defect means a hole in the septum which means hole in the wall between the atria. This defect causes the blood to flow through hole from left to right atrium. This pressure increases the blood volume in right atrium which therefore means more blood in lungs. If this defect is not treated well on time then this can cause serious problems in future namely weakening of heart muscles, atrial arrhythmias and pulmonary hypertension.
In some cases, ASD may close at its own without treatment. The rate of spontaneous closure can be as high as 80% in first 18 months of life but an ASD present till the age of 3 can never close at its own.
This is complication free procedure in over 99 % of the cases. Though Amplatzer device has been in use from a short time, but its success rate appears to be very high. After the ASD closure in childhood, the heart returns to normal size over a period of 6 months. Post surgery, there are no problems with physical activities. Regular follow ups are important and are advisable irrespective of closure mode.