Can You Live With A Hole In Your Heart?

Holes present in one’s heart refer to simple and congenital heart problems. These cardiac problems take place with the structure of one’s heart and they remain present since the birth of a person. These defects cause changes in the normal blood flow from the heart.

Why Heart Holes Create Problems?

Heart of a human has two different sides separated with an inner wall referred as the septum. With each pulse or heartbeat, right side of one’s heart receives oxygen-poor blood from other areas of the body to pump it towards the lungs.

On the other side, left side of one’s heart receives the blood rich in oxygen from lungs and pumps back to the body. Septum prevents mixing of both these blood in between two different sides of one’s heart. However, few of the babies have heart holes in lower or upper septum by their birth.

Holes present in the septum in between the two upper chambers of the heart refers to atrial septal defect, while in the two lower chambers implies a ventricular septal defect. Irrespective of VSDs or ASDs, both types of holes allow passage of blood from left side to right side or vice verse of the heart. Because of this, oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor bloods mix with each other leading to the supplying of oxygen-rich blood towards the lungs instead of going to the body.

During the last few decades, diagnosis and treatment of both VSDs and ASDs have improved significantly. Children suffering from simple congenital heart problems/defects may survive up to their adulthoods. These kids even lead a normal and an active life because heart defects (holes) close on own and repair easily.

Can You Live With A Hole In Your Heart?

Can You Live With A Hole In Your Heart?

Outlook of a large number of children with either of ASDs or VSDs is excellent. Advancement in the treatment has allowed a large number of children with heart holes to lead an active life without any reduction in the entire lifespan. Many children with the mentioned defects do not require any special care or occasional checkups only with a heart specialist for their entire life.

Survival in Case of ASDs

Small ASDs or holes close on own and do not cause any problem or require any treatment. Moreover, in case small ASDs fail to close on own, they do not result in symptoms and do not require any treatment. On the other side, big ASDs require catheter procedures or surgeries to close heart holes or prevent potential problems on a long-term basis. Children recover in a well manner from such procedures and thereby, lead a healthy and normal live. Adult individuals even do well after heart-hole closure procedures.

Ongoing Care and Follow-up

Risk related to irregular heart patterns, known as arrhythmias increases pre and post cardiac surgery. Routine follow-up and care becomes essential in patients in case-

  • ASD repair takes place for an adult person
  • Arrhythmias problem pre and post surgical procedure
  • ASD repaired with the help of catheter procedure.

Survival in case of VSDs

Children suffering from small VSDs and without any symptom require follow-up only on an occasional basis with a cardiac surgeon. Another positive thing in this case is that both adults and children underwent with successful VSDs repair without any congenital heart holes/defects may expect to lead active and healthy lives.

Ongoing Care and Follow-up

Many times, risks and problems remain after the closure of cardiac surgery. These include-

Arrhythmias: Severe and frequent arrhythmias requires regular follow-up and medical care, while the risk increases in case surgery takes place in the later years of one’s life.

Heart Patch Leak: Remaining or residual VSDs take place because of leak across edge of the heart patch used for closing the holes. These VSDs are of small size and do not create any problem and hence, require surgery rarely.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 11, 2018

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