Treatments for Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) in children

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Contact the Congenital Heart Valve Program

What are the treatments for ventricular septal defect?

Small ventricular septal defects may close spontaneously as your child grows. A larger VSD usually requires surgical repair.

Your child's treatment may include:

  • medication to help the heart work better
    • digoxin –  helps strengthen the heart muscle, enabling it to pump more efficiently
    • diuretics –  help the kidneys remove excess fluid from the body
  • antibiotics to prevent bacterial endocarditis (an infection of the inner surfaces of the heart)
  • nutrition to help your child gain weight (infants with a VSD may become tired when feeding)
    • high-calorie formula or breast milk with nutritional supplements
    • supplemental tube feedings
  • cardiac catheterization to patch the hole
    • umbrella-shaped patch is closed and inserted into the damaged area through a small tube, called a catheter
    • umbrella patch is then opened to cover the hole
    • requires a small incision, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery
  • open heart surgery to patch the hole
    • surgeons stitch or patch the hole in the wall
    • This is an option when your child is not eligible for cardiac catheterization
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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