In some situations the answer can be YES. However it is very individualized. A cardiac catheterization would be needed to assess the pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). If that was normal, then closure of the ASD is more likely to be successful without developing right heart failure. However, if the PVR was elevated, it depends upon the response to medications that can dilate the blood vessels in the lungs. It also depends upon whether the oxygen level in the blood is normal or not. If the patient has desaturation (blood blue entering the blood circulation that goes to the body), then that usually indicates very high pulmonary vascular resistance that is a contraindication to surgery.
Thank you Dr. Gleason. Can I see my regular cardiologist for this evaluation?
not necessarily. If the right heart failure is due to heart enlargement from the blood flow across the ASD, then yes, that might improve (but it really depends upon how old you are and how badly your heart is functioning). If the right heart failure is due to pulmonary hypertension, then NO, it may not improve, and could actually be a contraindication to ASD closure (depending upon your degree of left to right shunting through the ASD and how abnormal is the pulmonary vascular resistance). Again, a cardiac catheterization and trial of medications to test for dilation (relaxation) of the pulmonary vessels would be indicated before being able to make a safe and accurate assessment of whether the ASD should be closed.
I already have some degree of right heart failure, but I'm assuming that can
be reversed, correct?