Ventricular Septal Defect – Small
The normal heart has four chambers. The two top chambers receive blood from the body and lungs. These chambers are called the atria. The two bottom chambers pump blood to the body and lungs. These are called the ventricles. These chambers are separated by walls known as the atrial septum and ventricular septum.
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
A ventricular septal defect is the most common congenital heart defect. A congenital defect means that it is present at birth. This type of defect is a hole in the wall (septum) between the right and left ventricles. This hole allows blood to flow across from the left side, where the pressure is high, to the right side, where the pressure is lower.
These defects may vary in size. They may be present in many locations in the ventricular wall. Rarely, a person may have more than one of these. Small defects rarely cause problems and have a high chance of closing on their own.
Signs and Symptoms
A murmur caused by the blood flowing through the defect is often heard during a routine exam. You will be referred to a cardiologist for further testing. A child will most likely be healthy and have no symptoms as a result of a small ventricular septal defect.
Testing and Treatment
A member of the health care team will do a complete exam and a health history.
An ultrasound of the heart will be done to confirm the presence of the defect. It is also done to find the location and size of the defect. This is called an echocardiogram.
Your child should continue to get their regular check-ups with their regular provider. We may suggest that they return to the Pediatric Cardiology clinic at times. This monitoring may only be as often as every year or two. Small, muscular ventricular defects have a good chance of closing without surgery in the first year or two of life.
Children with small ventricular septal defects need no restrictions. They should keep on leading healthy, normal lives.
Who Do I Call With Questions?
Your child’s doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can answer any questions.
Our phone number is (608) 263-6420.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #6704.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/23/2013
Copyright © 05/23/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6560
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