Hole in the Heart or atrial septal defect, is a hole in the wall that separates the two upper chambers of the heart. This is a congenital condition. Small holes in the heart usually disappear, but large and long standing holes damage heart and lungs. Symptoms are:
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling of feet and abdomen
• Heart palpitations
• Skipped heart beats
• Frequent lung infections
• Heart murmur
HOW IS HOLE IN THE HEART DIAGNOSED?
Cardiologists conduct a physical examination and check for specific symptoms. If he or she suspects atrial septal defect, then an Echocardiogram and a chest X-ray may be ordered. An electrocardiogram helps identify heart rhythms. Other imaging techniques like MRI and CT scan may help confirm diagnosis.
HOW IS HOLE IN THE HEART TREATED?
Although many holes in the heart don't need treatment, some do. These days, most holes in the heart that need treatment are repaired in infancy or early childhood. Sometimes, adults are treated for holes in the heart if problems develop. Surgery or interventional procedures are usually required if the defect is significant and causing problems.
DID YOU KNOW?
The problem is treatable but there are some risks involved in the surgical procedures.