Atrioventricular Canal Defect: Treatments

How are atrioventricular canal defects treated?

Surgery is the only way to treat this type of heart defect.

Sometimes cardiologists will use medication to treat the symptoms associated with this defect. These medications include diuretics, which remove excess fluid from the body, and other medications that widen blood vessels in the body. These medications may delay the need for surgery for a while, but surgery will eventually be required.

Open-Heart Surgery

Surgery for this heart defect involves closing the holes between both the atria and the ventricles. It also requires repairing the valve between the atria and ventricles to convert it from one large valve into two distinct valves (one for the right side of the heart and one for the left side). In the case of the Partial AVCD, there is only one hole between the atrium that requires closing, and only the left side valve will need repair.

Your child will likely stay in the hospital for about a week following surgery. During that time, our team of doctors will monitor the healing process and help ensure a smooth recovery.

Lifelong care

Most children with atrioventricular canal defects go on to lead healthy lives after their defect is corrected, but should continue to see a pediatric cardiologist periodically to make sure the heart is doing well.

Learn why parents choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for their child's heart surgery.