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.