Small atrial septal defects might close on their own but it is fairly rare. If small atrial septal defects do not cause any problems, they may not require any treatment.
But many persistent atrial septal defects eventually require treatments to be corrected. If the hole is larger than 1 cm. (medium sized) to 3 cm. (large sized), immediate medical attention provided by highly experienced cardiologists must be sought. Effective treatment option is “transcatheter ASD closure” which is a less invasive procedure with a quicker recovery time.
In transcathete ASD closure procedure, an interventional cardiologist inserts a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in the groin and guide it to the heart using imaging techniques. Through the catheter, a mesh patch or plug is placed to close the hole. The heart tissue grows around the mesh, permanently sealing the hole within 3-6 months. Chosen material to close the holes entirely depends on the characteristic and size of the holes. In comparison with open surgery, advantages of transcatheter ASD closure include smaller incisions, less pain, fewer complications and faster recovery time within 48 hours. As a result, patients can quickly return to their daily life and activities. After receiving treatment, close follow-ups are required as scheduled, every 1, 3, 6 months and 1 year. And all medical advices given by cardiologists must be strictly followed.
To achieve the best possible outcomes derived from transcatheter ASD closure, highly experienced and trained cardiologists supported by cutting-edge technology and well-equipped catheterization room are crucially vital. In addition, transcatheter ASD closure with ASD occluder device results in high success rates with fewer complications.
Nevertheless, selected treatment option is primarily determined by size, location and type of the holes as well as individual’s conditions. Transcatheter ASD closure might not be suitable for some atrial septal defects with complicated conditions e.g. large hole (larger than 36 mm.), several holes with hole borders are smaller than 5 mm or in patients presenting with other heart diseases e.g. heart valve regurgitation. These conditions may require open-heart surgery as a first-line treatment.
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