Pediatric

VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect)

Description

VSD is one of the common heart defects found in infants and newborn children, which occurs when an opening is formed in the heart of the child between the two lower chambers during pregnancy. Usually, the two chambers are well separated, not allowing the oxygen rich blood to mix with oxygen poor blood, but with a hole between the two let them mix up causing serious heart issues include high blood pressure and reduced oxygen.

Cause

The cause of the defect is not known, but doctors believe it may occur along with other heart defects. Other than that, family history of heart related problems and abnormalities during pregnancy can root to VSD as well.

Treatment of VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect)

Patients with smaller VSD can be diagnosed with medications and proper care, which is certainly not the case with larger ones. Medication alone cannot stop permanent damage to lung vessels and arteries, hence, open heart surgery on cardiopulmonary bypass with ischemic arrest is required to be done. Through surgery, the opening between the left atria and the left ventricle are closed using fabric or pericardium. It is then covered with normal heart lining tissue, becoming an everlasting part of the heart. Some opening can also be closed in the Cath lab without a patch.

If the health of the child is severe, it is assumed that the VSD is formed in an abnormal location, hence, pulmonary artery banding is done to relieve the symptoms and high pressure. After years, the band is removed and VSD is fixed through surgery.

Complications

A smaller VSD may not cause severe complications, but a larger one surely cause hazardous issues, such as pulmonary hypertension and endocarditis. VSD can also cause several other life threatening complications to the child, if not treated on time. The child can suffer from high blood pressure in the lungs, which can further cause heavy breathing. Feeding becomes a problem and the overall development of the child gets affected. Others risks involve permanent damage to lung vessels, leakage or any other serious heart related issues.

Some complications are still there after the surgery is performed, which are – Arrhythmias and remaining VSD. Both can be diagnosed with medication.

Post operative care

  • Patients with a small VSD don’t require any surgery and restriction from activities, but otherwise may need to consult with their cardiologist if the child can take part in sports.
  • Routine checkup of the child must be done to see the development in his/her body.
  • Prescriptions needs to be taken at suggested intervals.