Heart and Blood Conditions

Atrial Septal Defect Treatment

Your child may not need 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 its own as your child grows. In this case, your doctor may simply recommend monitoring your child’s condition.

Some children need treatment because of the size of the defect, its effect on the heart or the symptoms it causes. The most common type of ASD is taken care of before school age and before the child has symptoms.

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) through a large blood vessel in the groin up to the heart. This is called cardiac catheterization.

Other children need surgery to close the hole with stitches (sutures) or a patch.

ASD Patch

Reprinted with permission www.heart.org. ©2009, American Heart Association, Inc.


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 valves, 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.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.