Heart Disease Expert Forum
Re: ASD repairs
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Re: ASD repairs

Posted By Debbie on May 12, 1999 at 09:25:34
A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD).  She had a cath done a few weeks ago.  It showed the defect at about the size of a large eraser.  Can you explain the options for surgery? Is a sternotomy the best way or is a mammary incision a good option.  If the mammary incision is used, how do you clamp the aorta?  I'd appreciate your help.  She's not able to find a lot of info here locally.




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Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - CRC on May 12, 1999 at 09:30:15
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Dear Debbie,
Thank you for your question.  ASD (atrial septal defect) is often undetected and is usually correctable once it is found.  In this condition there is a hole between the upper chambers of the heart.  Long term complications of this disorder if it is not corrected include lung and heart failure.  
Correction can be done surgically or via catheter.  The surgical approach involves open heart surgery and about a weeks hospitalization.   The catheter approach is currently done only at large medical centers and uses a clamshell device that clamps the hole shut.  It is done through a small hole usually in the leg.
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.  The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.











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