The term “heart defect” refers to an abnormal opening in the wall, or septum, dividing the heart’s upper and lower chambers. Heart defects don’t always require treatment. When they do, a medication or procedure is used to either treat the symptoms or repair the hole, respectively.
The majority of heart defects seen can be repaired with a simple cardiac cath lab procedure. Here’s how:
- A catheter guides a flexible closure device into the heart through a blood vessel.
- The device opens like an umbrella to plug the hole.
- The catheter is removed, leaving the plugging device in the heart. The heart will eventually cover the device with tissues.