Fetal echocardiography can sometimes reveal holes between the lower heart chambers called ventricular septal defects (VSDs). The size of the hole at 20 weeks gestation is not going to be the size of the hole at birth. It can go either way: it can get smaller or close before birth, it can stay the same, (in which case a 1.7 mm defect would be considered a small hole), or it can get a bit larger. Even after birth there is an excellent chance that VSDs of this type can get smaller spontaneously, or even close completely. Your doctor may ask for another fetal echo when the baby is further along in the pregnancy, but if not, then an echocardiogram should be done within the first few weeks after birth to see if the VSD is still present and what size it is at the time. Depending upon that evaluation, your doctor can decide what type of follow up (if any) is required.
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