A hole in the septum that separates the heart’s ventricles (the two lower chambers) is known as Ventricular Septal Defect. This condition develops by itself at the time of birth. It can even be found in grown up individuals. The symptoms and treatments for the condition may vary according to the size and location of the hole. High blood pressure in the lung arteries caused due to the VSD may result in Pulmonary Hypertension. A patient with a small VSD may not show any symptoms other than a loud murmur. A large VSD may induce symptoms such as fatigue, VSD, weakness and shortness of breath etc.
VSD diagnosis is possible using various measures such as:
- Chest X-ray
- Coronary Angiography
- Doppler imaging and Transthoracic Echocardiogram
¾ of the VSD holes will close on their own. If it does not close by its own, it may require surgical or non-surgical treatment approach. Patients with moderately large holes can be treated with non-surgical Closure techniques.
The non-surgical procedure begins with making a small incision near the groin area. A catheter is then inserted into the incision to reach the heart with the guidance of a fluoroscope. The catheter can measure the pressure and oxygen levels of the blood in the heart. This will be analysed by the doctor. An implant made up of a special wire mesh is then placed in the hole. It closes the ventricular septum. After the procedure, the patient may have to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days. To ensure the complete closure of the VSD, an echocardiogram test will be conducted during the recovery period. Issues like less appetite, difficulty in gaining weight etc. should be drawn to the notice of the surgeon immediately.