VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) closure


DESCRIPTION
Ventricular septal defect is a congenital condition or a type of malformation present from birth which affects the human heart.  It is in fact, the most common type of congenital heart disease across the globe. The ventricular septal defect is the defect in the ventricular septum or the wall separating the lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart from one another. To be more specific, a hole in the ventricular septum is termed as a ventricular septal defect (VSD). This hole allows oxygen rich blood to flow from the left ventricle to the right ventricle instead of flowing into the aorta and out to the body as it should be. VSD’s can be of different sizes. Small VSD’s don’t cause more problems and are likely to close on their own.  They usually heal themselves with the child’s growth. Large VSD’s are not likely to completely close on their own, but they may get smaller over time. Large VSD’s often cause symptoms in infants and children, and surgery is usually needed to close them. The complications of VSD, if not repaired consist of the following,
  • Heart Failure
  • Growth Failure
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)

The Symptoms of VSD occur mostly in infancy. They include, fatigue, shortness of breath, buildup of blood and fluid in the lungs, buildup of fluid in ankles, feet, legs etc. Echocardiography, EKG, chest x-ray and cardiac catheterization are the most common methods used to diagnose VSD.



THE PROCESS
For the closure of VSD, either conservative or surgical procedures are adopted. The procedure of choice for most cases in of VSD in children is the surgical procedure. In most cases general anesthesia is used. The surgery is done when the patient is attached to the heart-lung bypass machine.  This is an open heart operation where the patient is kept comfortable throughout the procedure. The conservative procedure is one in which a polyester patch is attached to a Nitinol frame with a grip device and patch fixation device which is inserted into the patients heart through cardiac catheterization process. This process is generally more difficult and should be considered only on select patients.



DURATION OF THE PROCEDURE

The total duration of the VSD closure may take up to 2 hours.



HOSPITALIZATION PERIOD

The patient may be hospitalized for almost 4 to 5 days after the surgery.



TIME SPAN FOR RECOVERY

Medical tourists/patients can return to their home country within 6 days from the VSD closure.



AFTERCARE GUIDELINES

Even though patients may feel fully recovered after 2 to 3 weeks, complete recovery from a VSD closure may take up to 6 moths to a year. For effective and speedy recovery the patients are required to follow the following guidelines,

  • Confine to complete bed rest for the first few days after the surgery.
  • Strictly follow the medication prescribed by the doctor.
  • After the VSD closure surgery, if the patient has to undergo any dental procedures or any surgical procedures on the mouth or throat, then he/she must take antibiotics to prevent infections.
  • Avoid body piercings of any kind after the surgery because this might lead to infection in the blood stream.
  • Strictly follow the routine check ups with your doctor or cardiologist.



THE RISKS

Risks or complications with VSD surgery are very uncommon. Even then since it is a surgical procedure, there may be rare chances (1% to 2%) of the following complications,

  • Heart Rhythm problems
  • Incomplete closure of the VSD


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