Treating an Atrial Septal Defect
Congenital heart defects are problems with the heart that are present from birth; they may be life-threatening or they might only cause minor symptoms that can be managed without any serious medical intervention. Atrial septal defects are a relatively common type of congenital heart defect, occurring in about 1,966 babies in the United States each year. This defect could be a serious problem, or it may only be a minor issue for heart health. The severity of the condition and the age of the patient will dictate the appropriate treatment path, which may include surgical procedures.
Symptoms of atrial septal defect
An atrial septal defect is a hole in the wall between the upper chambers of the heart. It allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the low-oxygen blood chambers of the heart. As a result, more blood flows through the lungs and causes damage to the blood vessels over time. Signs of this problem include high blood pressure, heartbeat abnormalities, and difficulty breathing. When an atrial septal defect is diagnosed in infancy, it is typically associated with symptoms such as trouble feeding, shortness of breath, skipped heartbeats, or swelling of the feet and legs.
If symptoms are not serious and the size of the hole is relatively small, surgery may not be considered for treatment. Instead, a physician may monitor the activity of the heart and lungs and put off treatment until the condition worsens (if it ever does). Cardiac catheterization is the preferred method when surgery is needed, because it uses a much smaller and safer incision to protect the heart and surrounding organs.
Cardiac Solutions in the Phoenix area can provide care for adults and children with congenital heart defects through several convenient locations in Peoria, Sun City West Avondale, Glendale and Arrowhead. You can schedule a consultation for your cardiac care with us on our website or by calling (623) 208-5305.