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Your child may not need any treatment for ventricular septal defect (VSD). In some children, it does not cause any problems. Or, if the hole is small, it may close up on its own as your child grows. So your doctor may simply recommend monitoring your child’s condition.

Some children do need treatment because the defect causes troubling or serious symptoms.

Ventricular Septal Defect Treatment Options

Some VSDs are treated using a long, thin tube (catheter) to place a device in the heart that closes the hole in the septum. This is called cardiac catheterization.

Other patients need surgery to close the hole with stitches or a patch and get the blood to circulate the correct way.

The position and size of the defect are important factors in deciding which treatment to use. If the defect is large and close to a heart valve, doctors may not be able to close it using a catheter; instead, the child will need surgery.

Also, children need to reach a certain age and weight in order to have catheterization. Some children who are too young or small for typical catheterization may be able to have a hybrid procedure to avoid open-heart surgery. A cardiac surgeon and a cardiologist work together to place the closure device by putting a catheter through the wall of the heart.

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

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)