An atrial septal defect is a birth defect that causes a hole in the septum between the left and right atria in the heart. About 10% of infants have atrial septal defects.
If an ASD does not close on its own, heart surgery is required. In some cases, an ASD may be closed with a minimally-invasive catheter through a closure device.
The percutaneous closure of an ASD is performed using a special closure device. The device is folded or attached on to a special catheter. The catheter is inserted into a vein in the leg and advanced into the heart and through the defect. The device is slowly pushed out of the catheter allowing each side of the device to open up and cover each side of the hole, closing the defect. When the device is in proper position, it is released from the special catheter. Over time, heart tissue grows over the implant, making it a part of the heart.
Not all patients are candidates for catheter-based closure devices. Patients who are not candidates may require surgery to close their septal defect. Congenital heart cardiologists, interventionalists and surgeons work together to make sure each patient gets the right procedure to treat their congenital heart condition.
For patients, this safe and more precise treatment may potentially reduce the need for follow-up procedures and stents.