trial septal defect (also known as ASD), is a condition that generally afflicts newborns and infants. It’s a congenital heart disease, which means it’s a defect that presents itself at birth, and occurred during fetal developmental stages. Some adults also suffer from the condition, which is detected most typically as a heart murmur. An echocardiography (ECG) is the most common method used to confirm the diagnosis, though often, chest e-rays or and electrocardiogram (EKG) may also be performed for diagnosis. Treatment options for atrial septal defect are the same for both children and adults and may involve open-heart surgery, depending on the severity and location of the defect. However, modern technology is also able to utilize non-invasive treatments that are just as effective.
Depending on the severity of the atrial septal defect, certain procedures and treatments are available. The most common include:
In many cases, a small hole or defect in the heart present at birth may resolve and close on its own. In such cases, monitoring is typically advised. This goes for many adult patients as well who experience no detrimental side effects associated with a very small hole.
Open heart surgery often requires a patient to be hooked up to a heart-lung bypass machine while the hole or defect is closed with small stitches or if necessary, a larger patch. While it sounds alarming, this surgery is considered relatively low-risk and has been utilized for more than three decades.
Newer techniques offer some patients non-invasive surgical procedures also known as non-surgical closure, which utilizes heart catheterization. A patch, in many cases shaped like a miniature umbrella, is inserted into the heart and placed using a catheter threaded through a major blood vessel to the necessary location. Further research is currently devising additional types of patches that may be utilized through this method.
Newborns, infants, children and adults may benefit from techniques or procedures to correct an atrial septal defect. While not a common condition, individuals with ASD are at an increased risk for developing additional complications later in life such as:
In the United States, and depending on the type of procedure involved, individuals can expect to pay between $48,000 on the low end to over $100,000 if a complete heart-lung bypass open-heart surgery technique is needed. In some cases, medical insurance will cover a part of such costs, but it depends on carrier. Medical travelers to foreign destinations may benefit from the latest technological treatment facilities and equipment in places like India, which charges ASD patients (at the low end, about $4,540).
Non-invasive procedures will naturally cost less than open-heart surgeries, but costs may also include drugs, surgeon’s fees, hospital stay costs and follow-up treatment, care and medications.
A trained, certified and experienced cardiac surgeon may perform this type of heart surgery. He or she must be accredited and licensed to practice such surgeries and techniques in his or her country of origin. In addition, check to make sure that the chosen surgeon also belongs to Cardiology or Cardiac Surgery boards, organizations or associations regarding specialties or sub-specialties of the type of atrial septal defect procedure that is suggested for care and treatment.
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