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Your child may not need any treatment for atrial septal defect (ASD). In some children, it does not cause any problems. If the opening is small, it may close up on it’s own as your child grows. So your doctor may simply recommend monitoring your child’s condition.

Some children do need treatment because of the size of the defect, its effect on the heart, or the symptoms it causes.

Atrial Septal Defect Treatment Options

Some ASDs are treated with a device that covers the opening in the septum. The device is placed through a large blood vessel in the groin using a long, thin tube (catheter). This is called cardiac catheterization.

Other patients need surgery to close the hole with sutures or a patch.

The position and size of the defect are important factors in deciding the mode of treatment. Children need to reach a certain age and weight in order to have catheterization. If the defect is large and close to a heart valve, doctors may not be able to close it using a device; instead, the child will need surgery.

To meet your child’s long-term healthcare needs, we have a special Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program to transition your child to adult care when they’re ready.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Spring 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Cold Water Shock Can Quickly Cause Drowning
  • E-Cigs Are Addictive and Harmful
  • Bystanders Can Intervene to Stop Bullying

Download Spring 2014 (PDF)