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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Atrial Septal Defect

Do you know of a child who has a hole in their heart?
Recently my daughter was diagnosed with ASD - Atrial Septal Defect. The cardiologist has asked to see her again in 6 months, and no treatment is required at present. The hole may close by itself and if it doesn't then a plug will be put into her heart. I'm lucky that the paediatrician found her heart murmur, when I took my 2 month old daughter to see him about a different matter. If this wasn't picked up then, I may not have known of her condition until she was 7-8 years old. I would like to hear from anyone who has a child living with this condition or a child who has had their heart plugged.
Wed, 16 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
ASD is a not a very "worrisome" problem for most Pediatric Cardiologists anymore. A long time ago, it was treated by surgical intervention. Which still has great results. Today- it is done by what's called cardiac catheterization. This non-surgical approach uses a tube-like catheter that is usually inserted into an artery in the groin of the patient and guided to the heart using constant motion x-ray. An umbrella-like device is attached to the catheter and blown up into place of the hole and it is effectively closed. The heart then grows tissue around the device and it almost always stays closed. Intervention depends on the size of hole. Recurrence is extremely rare, but seeing how there is a chance, your child will require lifelong follow-up from a pediatric cardiologist. ASD is a minor issue and children will live a normal life without heart problems related to that issue in almost every case. If your child had to have a heart problem, holes in the heart are probably the one pediatric cardiologists would pick for themselves as they are relatively simple to fix. Holes in the heart are a common occurrence in pediatric cardiology patients and there are much more complex issues that require repeated surgical intervention. I had 5 heart surgeries as a child myself. Best of luck to you!
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