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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Ventricular Septal Defect: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Heart Diseases

Ventricular Septal Defect

Alternate Names : VSD, Endocardial Cushion Defect

Ventricular Septal Defect | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the disease?

Treatment of a ventricular septal defect will depend on the size of the abnormal opening. Some people with small defects may not need any treatment, and the defect may just be monitored. Often small holes in the septum will close by themselves.

Someone with a larger defect often needs open heart surgery. Surgery to close the defect is usually very safe and effective. Surgery is often performed between the ages of 2 to 5 years, but can be done earlier. A child who has serious heart or lung problems from the defect may need other medical care before he or she is strong enough to undergo surgery. Antibiotics may be needed to prevent or treat any infections, such as lung or heart infections.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

All medications and surgeries have possible side effects. For example, antibiotics may cause stomach upset or allergic reactions. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia. Medications used for treatment of congestive heart failure or arrhythmias may cause allergic reactions or salt imbalances.

What happens after treatment for the disease?

In uncomplicated cases, a person may return to normal activity after recovering from surgery. With more severe defects where heart or lung damage occurred, further treatment may be needed.

How is the disease monitored?

Blood tests as well as cardiac tests are often used to follow how the heart is functioning after surgery. Other monitoring of a person with a ventricular septal defect depends on the complications that develop. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Ventricular Septal Defect: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Date Reviewed: 07/24/01

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