The majority of patients who undergo surgery for ventricular septal defects are babies in the first year of life. The child usually goes home from the hospital within 10 to 12 days.
Small ventricular septal defects have a good chance of closing spontaneously. The closure rate is estimated to be in the range of 30% to 50% and occurs most frequently in the first year of life.
Most adults with small or minor defects have no symptoms and lead a perfectly normal life. Some are detected because the doctor detected a heart murmur on routine examination. While others may have complications of significant defects like breathlessness on physical exertions.
This would depend on type and severity of the defect. If the defect is significant and surgery is deemed to improve the quality of life, surgery will be offered to these patients.
The complications that arise depend on the type of defect, site of defect in relation to vital heart structures and size of fetus. Let's talk about the ventricular septal defect as an example. A large defect can result in heart failure with failure to gain weight, recurrent respiratory infections and damage to the blood vessels in the lungs. A defect near the left outlet valve can result in damage to the valve and subsequent valve leakage. As mentioned before there is also risk of infection of the heart.
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