Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Surgery

Commonly known as a hole in the heart, a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is a congenital heart problem wherein a hole is created in the walls that divide the lower chambers of the heart. A VSD surgery is done to treat this defect in one of the following ways:

Intra-Cardiac Technique – This is a more common open-heart surgery technique wherein a machine takes over the function of the heart and lungs. This is usually performed along with a cardiopulmonary bypass.
Transcatheter Technique – This is a comparatively more complicated procedure that involves the use of some surgical instruments that are passed through the catheters and attached to the large blood vessels of the heart.
If you’re considering the option of traveling to India for a ventricular septal defect treatment, we will be happy to help you find the right doctors and answer all your queries.

A ventricular septal defect is a common defect found at birth in children or in adults post a surgery or a heart attack. Children suffering from VSD may show symptoms like:

  • A bluish tint to the lips, skin or fingernails
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
  • Poor feeding or poor weight gain
  • Growth failure
  • Fast breathing
  • Progressive aortic insufficiency (a case in which the aorta can’t close effectively)
  • Endocarditis – the innermost tissue that lines the chamber of the heart tends to get swollen
  • Enlargement or improper functioning of the left ventricle
  • Pulmonary vascular disease – adverse effects on lung functioning
  • While most holes might close on their own as children grow up, some others need a VSD heart surgery. Talk to our doctors to understand the procedure and take the right decision at the right time for your loved ones.

Before the VSD repair surgery, the doctor reviews all the image studies to get a clear picture of the defects present in the heart. Also, the surgeon tries to get the CHF under control before the surgery and monitors the overall health and wellbeing of the patient. Since this is an open heart surgery, surgeons will only go ahead with the operation once all the test results are conducive for the surgery.

A VSD surgery is an open-heart procedure done under a general anaesthesia. For an intra-cardiac approach, the process is as follows:

  • The surgeon will first make an incision in the chest and locate the problem area
  • Then, he places a special patch that effectively covers the hole in the heart. While the heart is stopped for this procedure, a heart-lung machine is used to provide support to the patient.
  • In the case of a transcatheter procedure, a catheter is inserted in the body through the groin and guided to the heart’s septum – the wall which divides the left and right chambers.
  • The surgeon uses a device to block the hole present in the wall of the heart. Once this is securely placed, the catheter is removed.
  • The surgeon uses techniques like Echocardiography (sound waves to get moving images of the heart), transoesophageal echo (get detailed heart images using high-frequency sound waves) and angiography (using dyes and x-rays to highlight the coronary arteries) in order to successfully guide the catheter when it is inside the patient’s body.
  • Depending on the patient’s tests and overall heart health, the surgeon will determine which of the above two approaches are best for the surgery.

One of the good things about this surgery is the rapid recovery. Normally, the patient is transferred from the cardiac ICU or the paediatric ICU into a regular room within one or two days of the surgery. A post-operative drug therapy is given to patients to bring down the intravascular volume to normal levels. The surgeon and other doctors will constantly monitor the functioning of the left atrial (one of the 4 heart chambers) and the pulmonary artery (responsible for carrying blood from the heart to the lungs).

If the patient is suffering from high blood pressure in the arteries of the lung, the doctor may prescribe sedatives to control the same. Patients are given a discharge within 4 to 7 days of the surgery.

Patients can expect positive long-term results from VSD surgeries and infants can fully recover from this within a year or two, giving them a normal and healthy life ahead.

Since children are the largest number of patients for this surgery, it can be overwhelming for parents to take the right decision about a hole in heart surgery. However, once you know all the risks and complications associated with this procedure and talk to cardiac experts, you can be assured that the surgery will help your child live a long and healthy life. Some of the possible risks include:

  • A wound infection near the surgical site
  • Bleeding post-operation
  • A rise in pulmonary hypertension
  • Injury in the aortic, pulmonary or tricuspid valve
  • About 1% of children who undergo a surgical treatment for VSD might face heart blockage

The approx. cost would be $6,500 – $ 11,000 and approx. duration will be 7-14 days based on the city and hospital you choose. However, the cost of the surgery is 1/4th in India compared to the US or the UK, making it a much affordable procedure here. Plus, you can get access to the best doctors, premium care and state-of-the-art hospitals in the country. India has now become a preferred medical tourism destination for many cardiac problems as it offers low-cost treatment solutions for international patients. If you have any further questions regarding VSD treatments, please feel free to contact us at +91-9999332093



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