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Pediatric Atrial Septal Defect Treatment in Wichita, KS

An atrial septal defect (ASD) occurs when there is an opening in the septum that divides the two upper chambers of the heart. It is often referred to as a “hole in the heart”. This opening can allow blood to flow through from either side of the heart, allowing deoxygenated blood to mix with oxygenated blood. Usually, the blood flows from the left to right side of the heart due to the difference in pressure. This phenomenon is known as left to right shunting. 

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of an ASD are dependent on the amount of blood that is flowing across the hole and can include: 

  • Tiring easily while playing
  • Fatigue 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Poor growth
  • Enlarged heart 
  • Atrial dysrhythmias (and other irregular heart rhythms) 
  • Heart failure

Treatment

Atrial septal defects often spontaneously close as the child grows. However, if the ASD is not closed by the time the child starts school intervention may be needed. The ASD can either be closed through open-heart surgery or through a non-invasive procedure in the Cardiac Cath Lab.