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Ventricular Septal Defect

Ventricular Septal Defect - Treatments

There are various ways to treat a ventricular septal defect (VSD) depending on the type, size and severity of the defect. Small VSDs that are not causing symptoms can be left to close on their own though frequent check-ups will have to be conducted to ensure that there are no further complications. However, a larger VSD might require further intervention in the form of medications or surgical procedures. Additionally, some babies with VSD may not feed well and will need additional nutrition to help them grow.


Medications can be prescribed to treat the symptoms of heart failure that arise due to VSD. These medications generally aim to decrease the amount of blood pumped by the heart and the amount of fluid circulating in the body to prevent a build-up of fluid in the lungs. If pulmonary hypertension develops, targeted medication to lower the pulmonary pressures may be considered. 

Surgeries or procedures 

Closure of small ventricular septal defect (VSD) may not be required if it does not cause enlargement of the heart. However, closure of a large ventricular defect is recommended to prevent serious problems later in life. Other indications for intervention include infective endocarditis, double chamber right ventricle and progressive aortic regurgitation. 

1) Open-heart surgery
This usually involves stopping the patient’s heart temporarily and connecting them to a heart-lung machine which performs the heart’s pumping function. The surgeon will then use stitches or patches to close the hole. 

This technique does not involve opening the patient’s chest. The doctor will insert a catheter (thin tube) into a blood vessel and guide it into the heart. The doctor then closes the hole with a specialised mesh device.  

After device or surgical closure, the patient will still require regular follow-up by his/her cardiologist.

Ventricular Septal Defect - Preparing for surgery

Ventricular Septal Defect - Post-surgery care

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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