Ventricular Septal Defect: Treatments

How are ventricular septal defects (VSDs) treated?

If your child has a ventricular septal defect, your pediatric cardiologist will want to carefully monitor him or her to make sure the condition is not causing damage to the heart. You will likely have frequent appointments and repeated tests at our Heart Institute to track the condition.

Medication
If your child has symptoms like shortness of breath or trouble nursing, he or she will be given medications to help treat these symptoms and help the heart beat more efficiently. Some VSDs will close on their own, without a surgical procedure.

However, if your child has symptoms despite the medications, or if the hole is large enough that it is unlikely to close on its own, then surgery should be performed to close the hole. Some VSDs should be closed regardless of their size because of their position within the heart wall.

Heart surgery
Ventricular septal defects are usually repaired with open-heart surgery by a pediatric cardiac surgeon. In some situations, minimally invasive surgical approaches may be used. This type of surgery is relatively low risk and most children are home within 3-5 days after surgery.

Learn why Children’s Colorado is the best place for your child’s heart surgery.