Many babies born with a small ventricular septal defect do not require surgery to close the opening. After birth, your doctor can monitor your baby and treat symptoms while waiting for the defect to disappear on its own.
Babies who require surgery often undergo this procedure in the first year of life. Children and adults who have a medium or large ventricular septal defect or cause serious symptoms may need surgery to close the defect.
Some smaller ventricular septal defects are closed surgically to prevent complications related to their location, such as damage to the heart valves. Many people with small dmls lead productive lives with few associated problems.
Infants with large dmls or children who are easily tired during feeding may need additional nutrition to help them grow. Some babies may require probe feeding.
Medications for a ventricular septal defect can be prescribed for:
Reducing the amount of fluid in the bloodstream and in the lungs. This reduces the amount of blood that needs to be pumped. These medications are called diuretics.
Maintain a regular heartbeat. Examples include beta blockers such as metoprolol, propranolol, and others, as well as other antiarrhythmic medications.
Surgical treatment of ventricular septal defects involves applying a patch or occluder to the pathological opening between the ventricles. If you or your child are going to have surgery to repair a ventricular septal defect, consider having the operation performed by surgeons and cardiologists who have training and experience in performing these procedures. Operations can be:
Open surgery. This procedure of choice in most cases usually involves open heart surgery under General anesthesia. The operation requires an artificial circulatory device and an incision on the chest. The doctor closes the hole with a patch or suture.
Endovascular transcatheter procedure. Closing the ventricular septal defect during catheterization does not require opening the chest. The surgeon inserts a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in the groin and directs it to the heart. The doctor then uses a special-sized occluder mesh to close the hole.
Hybrid procedure. In the hybrid procedure, both surgical and endovascular methods are used simultaneously. Access to the heart is usually made through a small incision, and the procedure can be performed either without stopping the heart,or using a blood vessel. A special occluder closes the ventricular septal defect with a catheter inserted through a small incision. After surgery, your doctor will prescribe regular medical monitoring to make sure that the ventricular septal defect remains closed and there are no signs of complications. Depending on the size of the defect and the presence of other problems, your doctor will tell you how often you or your child will need to be examined.