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Atrial Septal Defect Repair in Children—Open Heart Surgery
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Atrial Septal Defect Repair in Children—Open Heart Surgery?

An atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers (right and left atriums) of the heart. Open heart surgery can repair the hole, either by closing the hole with stitches or by placing a patch over it.

Patch Repair for Atrial Septal Defect
Patch Repair for Atrial Septal Defect
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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 . This procedure is done to fix the hole.

Most children who have this surgery will have good outcomes.

Possible Complications

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

  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the heart or lungs
  • Reaction to the anesthesia (eg, light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing)
  • Infection, including endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart muscle)
  • Heart attack
  • Blood clot formation
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Pre-existing conditions (eg, poor kidney functioning)
  • Low birth weight
  • Recent infection

Discuss these risks with the doctor before the surgery.

Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occurs

After your child leaves the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs: