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Atrial Septal Defect Repair in Children—Transcatheter Procedure
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Atrial Septal Defect Repair in Children—Transcatheter Procedure?

An atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers (right and left atriums) of the heart. A transcatheter procedure is a minimally-invasive way to repair the hole. During this procedure, a device is implanted to seal the hole. As your child recovers, the device will trigger the heart tissue to grow. The tissue will slowly grow over the hole.

If a child is born with a hole between the upper chambers of the heart, the blood can flow backward into the right side of the heart and into the lungs. This triggers the heart to work harder. Over time, this can lead to damage to blood vessels in the lungs and congestive heart failure . The procedure is done to fix the hole.

Blood Flow Through the Heart
Blood Flow Through the Heart
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Most children who have this procedure will have good outcomes.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is free of risk. Possible complications may include:

  • Bleeding at the point of the catheter insertion
  • Damage to arteries
  • Allergic reaction to x-ray dye
  • Blood clot formation
  • Infection, including endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart muscle)
  • Reaction to the anesthesia (eg, light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing)
  • Blood clot formation
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat)

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Pre-existing conditions (eg, bleeding disorder, kidney problems)
  • Recent infection

Discuss these risks with the doctor before the surgery.