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Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

Treatments and drugs

Most babies at birth are born with a small ventricular septal defect, where surgery is not required, as the defect most possibly will close on its on. The doctor would need to monitor the baby and threat any kind of symptoms, otherwise wait and watch if the defect closes on its own or surgery is required.

Children and adults , who face this defect and causing significant symptoms,usually need surgery to close the defect. If the baby does need surgery, then the surgery is scheduled after a year of the baby being born.


Medications for ventricular septal defect may include

Maintain a regular heartbeat, e.g. include Medications that may include, and keep the heart beat regular for e.g. Beta blockers(lopresor,Inderal) and digoxin (Lanoxin paediatric)

To increase the strength of the heart's contractions, digoxin(lanoxin). Also decrease amount of fluid in circulation, does reduce the volume of blood that must be pumped , and these medications called diuretics that include furosemide (Lasix)


The procedures used in ventricular defects, involves plugging or patching the abnormal opening between the ventricles, the two approaches are used:

  • Surgical repair -This surgery is done in most cases, this surgical repair of a ventricular septal defect usually involves an open-heart surgery, which is done under general anethesia, this surgery requires a heart-lung machine and an incision in the chest . To close the hole the doctor uses patches or stiches.
  • Catheter procedure - Is a method used to close some ventricular septal defects, patching is done during the cateterization, and does not require an opening in the chest. The doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the blood vessel in the groin and guides it to the heart, then the doctor uses a small mesh to patch or plug to close the hole.
  • Hybrid procedure - This procedure uses surgical and catheter-based techniques. To access the heart, the doctor usually make a small incision , and the this procedure may be performed without stopping the heart and using the heart-lung machine, a plug is delivered to close the VSD via a catheter placed through a small hole which the surgeon created. A patient can recover from this procedure, faster than the standard procedure.

After the surgery, the doctor will schedule a regular medical follow-up, to ensure that the ventricular septal defect remains closed. Depending on the size of the ventricular septal defect , and also the presence or absence of any other problems, the doctor will tell you how frequently you would need to visit him.

This VSD shows better results , and long term with surgery.

Preventive antibiotics

If you have been told earlierrr that you or the child needs to takantibioticsss to prevent infection , before any kind of dental procedures which involves the risk of infective endocarditis, then talk with your doctor, as edocaridtis is much more likely to occur from thexposese to random germs than from an dental exam or a surgery. Antibiotic is highly recommended for those people who are at high risk of serious complications from infective endocarditis.

Your doctor may still recommend antibiotics if you:

  • If you have other heart conditions or artificial valve
  • Have VSD, which may cause a low blood oxygen level
  • Have had a heart repair with prosthetic material
  • People who suffer with VSD, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and getting regular dental check-ups which is most effective strategy for preventing endocarditis.

Tests and diagnosis

VSD do often do cause a heart murmur that the doctor hears using a sethoscope, if the doctor does hear a heart murmur or finds other signs or symptoms of the the heart defect, then the doctor would make a request for one or more tests:

  • Echocardiogram . This test is most common, and is used to diagnose an atrial septal defect, which are found during an echocardiogram done for another reason. During an echodiography, the sound waves produce a video image of the heart, and makes it easier for the doctor to see the heart's chambers and measure their pumping strength, this test also checks the heart valves and looks for any signs of heart defects.
  • Chest X-ray - Helps the doctor to see the condition of the heart and lungs,an x-ray may also identify the conditions, other than a heart defect which can explain the signs and symptoms.
  • Electrocardiogram(ECG) . This test helps to record the electrical activity of the heart and helps identify heart problems.
  • Cardiac catheterization . The doctor uses a thin, flexible tube(catheter) that is inserted into a blood vessel at the groin or arm, which is guided to the heart, through the catherterization, doctors can diagnose the congenital heart defects, and test how well the heart is pumping and check the function of the hear valves. The blood pressure in your lungs also can be measured.
  • Pulse dosimetry - Is a painless test which measures how well the oxygen is reaching the tissues, it also helps in detecting whether the oxygenated blood is mixing with the de oxygenated blood, and detect the type of heart defect. The doctor places a small clip on your fingertip that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.


It is known that, in most cases that you cannot do anything if you are pregnant , with the defect of VSD. It is important to do everything possible to have a healthy pregnancy. This is what you have to do.

Get prenatal care, even before you are pregnant, quit smoking, reducing , stress stop using birth control pills, these are all the things that you need to discuss with your doctor before you get pregnant, and also the medications you need to take.

Eat healthy food, and include a lot of vitamins supplements like folic acid, limit yourself to caffeine.

Exercise regularly, work with your doctor to develop an exercise plan that is right for you.

Avoid the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs, also avoid x-rays,hot tubs, and saunas

Avoid infections, and be sure that you are up to date on all of your vaccinations before becoming pregnant, as infections can harm the developing foetus.

Keep your diabetes under control,and work with your doctor to control it.

If you have a family history of heart defects or other genetics disorder, consider talking with a genetic counsellor before getting pregnant.