Ventricular Septal Defects

What is Ventricular Septal Defects ?

A hole in the heart is the most common congenital disorder. A hole separates the lower chambers and allows blood to pass from the left to the right side of the heart. The blood rich in oxygen is pumped into the lungs instead of sending it out. This makes the heart work double or harder. A small hole covers on its own after a period of time. But the larger ones needs repair else they can lead to complications.

What are the symptoms ?

Ventricular septal defects symptoms show up as early as in their infant stage. The symptoms include :

  • Breathlessness
  • Poor consumption of food
  • Getting tired easily
  • Failure to resist or falling sick easily

Sometimes VSD can be detected when the ultrasound of the baby is done. In few cases, the signs don’t show up until later in childhood. And in other cases, if your doctor hears a murmuring in his heart beat it is an indication that there is some problem in his or her heart or shortness in breath when he examines your child with a stethoscope says the VSD Surgery Doctor in Hyderabad. If the hole in the heart is small you can rarely see any symptoms until the child has grown to a certain age.

What are the causes ?

The most basic cause is the abnormal formation of the baby’s heart during pregnancy. The muscular wall that separates the heart into the left and the right sides called septum fails to form completely in the lower chambers of the heart during the development of the foetus. Genetic and environmental factors also play a role. Sometimes, VSD’s can occur with more than one congenital heart disease.

The heart normally pumps the blood to the lungs to get oxygen and then the left portion of the heart pumps the oxygenated blood to the entire body. A person with VSD condition makes the heart work harder by mixing the oxygenated blood with deoxygenated blood.

A person can also develop VSD if he has had heart attack.

What are the risk factors ?

The risk factors include:

  • They are observed to be genetic and more often the condition is accompanied with Down’s syndrome. If you already have a child with such a condition you have to discuss with your physician if you are planning for another pregnancy
  • The increased blood flow in the lungs due to VSD can cause pulmonary hypertension leading to the blood flow in the reverse order.
  • Heart infections such as endocarditis is a very rare complication
  • Abnormal heart beats and valve issues

Ventricular Septal Defect and Pregnancy :

Paediatric cardiac surgery specialists insist that women with a congenital heart disease such as VSD not to plan for a pregnancy as there will be several complications. However, if you have decided to have one then you must plan your pregnancy carefully with a strict follow up with your Obstetrician and also your cardiologist to avoid any complications to your baby or for yourself says the Best Child Heart Surgery Doctor in Hyderabad.

How do you prepare for your appointment ?

Go to the physician if you or your child has any symptoms that are related to VSD. After a physical examination he will refer you to a cardiologist. Before you meet the cardiologist you can make a note of the things that you may want to ask. They include :

  • Make a note of the symptoms you or your child is experiencing
  • Make a note of any other health issues if you or your child has and also any medications you are taking
  • Take a friend or a relative along with you so that he can remind you of the things that you and your doctor had a discussion about in case you forget anything
  • Make a note of the questions you may want to ask

The questions that you want to ask and understand should also include:

  • What are causing these symptoms ?
  • Are there any other reasons that are causing these issues ?
  • What tests have to be taken for a diagnosis ?
  • What treatment he would recommend ?
  • How large is the defect ?
  • What are the complications involved ?
  • How often will the follow up sessions be scheduled ?
  • What is the long term outlook for this heart condition ?
  • Do you recommend any diet?

What are the questions that your doctor is likely to ask ?

He may ask you several questions to know the state of your disease. It includes:

If you are the one with the VSD :

  • What are the symptoms that you are experiencing ?
  • Since when the symptoms have been shown ?
  • Have the symptoms been worsening?
  • Is there any genetic condition in the family ?
  • Have you been treated for this condition already ?
  • Do you have any other health issues ?
  • Are you planning to get pregnant ?

If your child is the one suffering from VSD :

  • Is your child gaining weight ?
  • Does he run out of breath when he is eating or crying ?
  • Does your child get tired easily ?
  • Is your child suffering from any other medical condition ?
  • What are the tests that will help diagnose the condition ?

A doctor can find out if you have a VSD condition as he can hear a murmur in your heart with the help of his stethoscope. This is the most basic thing that the doctor can easily detect that you have an issue in the heart. To know furthermore and come to a clear cut analysis the doctor will ask you to go through a series of tests to derive an analysis of your condition. They include :

  • Chest x-ray: It captures the images of your heart and the lungs
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): Electrodes are attached to your skin to which reads the activity of the heart that helps understand the heart problems or any other defects you have.
  • Echocardiogram: Sound waves capture a video image of the heart which helps in detecting if you have a VSD and if the heart is pumping at a normal rate. The same can be used on the foetus also.
  • Cardiac Catheterization: A thin tube is inserted through your groin or our arm and is sent in to the blood vessels of your heart to check for any defects
  • Pulse oximetry: A clip is clipped onto your finger. It measures the oxygen in your blood.

What are the treatments administered for VSD ?

Babies born with VSD with a small hole usually needs no treatment except for some medications. The doctor would wait for a certain amount of time as the hole closes by itself many times. If it doesn’t, then a small surgery may be required. If the septal defect is with a larger hole then a surgery becomes essential and immediate for a paediatric cardiac surgery treatment in order to prevent any further complications. If baby is suffering with such an issue the surgery is done before he completes his first year itself.

Medications include :

  • Digoxin is given to increase the strength of your hearts contractions
  • Diuretics are given to decrease the fluid circulation in the lungs. This helps in reducing the amount of blood that must get pumped.
  • Beta Blockers such as Lopressor and digoxin is given

Procedures include :

  • VSD is usually treated by plugging or patching the holes that are abnormally opened between the ventricles.
  • Surgical repair : A heart lung machine is connected to the body. An incision is made in the chest and the hole is patched through a surgery under general anaesthesia.
  • Catheter Procedure : A catheter is sent through your arm into the blood vessel of your heart and the mesh is used to cover the hole. This doesn’t require cutting open your chest.
  • Hybrid procedure : It uses both surgical and catheter based techniques. Follows the same procedure as catheter surgery. Doesn’t require any major incision or have to connect a heart-lung machine. This surgery is not complicated and recovery is faster than any other surgery.

You or your child should follow up with your doctor as per his guidelines regularly after the repair or surgery of your VSD. This helps having a watch on the progress of your hearts condition post the surgery and also to check if it is functioning normally and recovering.

Preventive antibiotics :

If you have had a heart condition that includes VSD or if your body has an implant or any prosthetic material then whenever you are going to have a dental check-up and if you have been advised with any antibiotics then you should bring to his notice of your ailments and heart conditions or the implants your body has within as there are chances of your heart to develop endocarditis. Endocarditis is a condition of an infection in your heart.

Why KIMS ?

KIMS is the best Hospital for Paediatric Cardiac Surgery as they have the most experienced medical team that includes paediatric cardiologists. They are also updated with the latest technology that treats conditions such as VSD and other heart ailments easily through its surgeries and helps the patients in faster recovery.



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