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.
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 valve, doctors may not be able to close it using a device; instead, the child will need surgery.