How To Treat A Hole In The Heart
Having a hole in your heart is a serious condition, but learn here how a hole in your heart can be treated. A hole in the heart is a congenital problem, meaning that it was present at birth. There are two sides to the heart. The sides are separated by the septum, which is the heart's inner wall.
If a baby is born with a hole in his heart, it is usually in one of two places: either the upper or the lower septum. If the hole is in the septum between the upper chambers of the heart, it is known as an atrial septal defect or (ASD). If the hole is in the septum between the heart's lower chambers, or the ventricles, this is known as a ventricular septal defect or (VSD). They are both considered serious conditions because they do not allow the blood to flow properly through the ventricles and on into the lungs. The oxygen-containing blood can mix with the oxygen-poor blood and this can cause further complications. Symptoms of a hole in the heart can include: arrhythmias (or irregular heartbeats), dizziness, and fainting.
Treating a hole in the heart is usually done in one of three ways:
- Medication- Children who exhibit no symptoms are usually not given any medications. If there are symptoms, your doctor may prescribe Digoxin, a medication to help control the heart beats, and a diuretic. Diuretics help to prevent fluid build-up.
- Surgery- Sometimes surgery is warranted to close the hole. If this is the case, the surgeon may either put a special patch over the hole, or he may sew the hole up. There is a risk of complications with surgery, such as fluid collecting around the heart. If this happens, you will be put on medication to control the swelling.
- Catheter Procedure- A catheter procedure requires general anesthesia. Your doctor will insert a catheter into a blood vessel in the thigh, then work it up to the heart. Using the catheter, he will insert a special fabric-covered wire frame that will cover the hole. Within a 6-week period, your own tissues will begin to grow over the device and close the hole.
- Monitoring- Monitoring the situation is one of the plans of treatment that can be implemented. Your doctor will follow your case to see if the hole will heal itself. If not, another method of treatment may be necessary.
Your doctor will know what course of treatment is best for you. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.