Treatments for atrial septal defect (ASD) in children

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Contact the Congenital Heart Valve Program

How will my doctor treat my child's atrial septal defect?

Your child's ASD may not require treatment if he or she has few or no symptoms, or if the defect is small. However, there are a few options your child's doctor might explore:

Medical management
  • Digoxin helps strengthen the heart muscle, enabling it to pump more efficiently.
  • Diuretics help the kidneys remove excess fluid from the body.
Infection control
  • Children with atrial septal defect are at risk for developing an infection of the inner surfaces of the heart, known as bacterial endocarditis. This may require antibiotics or other methods of preventing infection.
Cardiac catheterization.
  • This may be recommend in severe cases.
  • An umbrella-shaped patch is closed and inserted into the damaged area through. a small tube, called a catheter. The umbrella patch is then opened to cover the hole.
  • It requires a small incision, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery.
Surgical repair
  • It may be option if your child cannot have a cardiac catheterization.
  • Surgeons stitch or patch the hole in the wall.
  • Your child will be connected to a heart-lung machine, which will do the work of the heart during surgery.
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