Can a hole in the heart be cured without surgery? It is a question that many people are asking, and the answer is yes – but it depends on the cause of the hole. In this blog post, we will discuss the different treatment options for a hole in the heart, including surgery and medication. So if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a hole in the heart, read on for more information!
What is Atrial Septal Defect?
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall (septum) that separates the upper chambers of your heart. This hole allows oxygen-rich blood from your left atrium to flow into your right atrium.
The extra blood flow through ASD can strain your heart and lungs. Over time, it can lead to serious health problems, such as congestive heart failure and high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Various hole in heart treatments are non-surgical, so you can also ask your doctor if they can be right for you.
Most people with ASD don’t have any signs or symptoms. But some may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, or dizziness. If you have these symptoms, they usually appear gradually and worsen over time. It would be better if you book an appointment online on Max Healthcare to get your health checkup done.
Causes of Atrial Septal Defect
There are several possible causes of holes in the heart, including:
- A hole in the septum that separates the upper chambers of the heart (atrial septum)
- An abnormal opening in the muscular wall that separates the lower chambers of the heart (ventricular septum)
- A congenital defect present at birth
A hole in the atrial septum causes most cases of a hole in the heart. This type of hole is usually inherited and present at birth. In some cases, however, a hole in the atrial septum may develop later in life due to an illness or injury.
Diagnosis of Atrial Septal Defect
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is often diagnosed before birth. If the hole in the heart is large, it may be diagnosed by fetal echocardiography during pregnancy. If the hole in the heart is small, it may not be diagnosed until later in life. The most common symptom of ASD is a heart murmur. A heart murmur is an abnormal sound that can be heard with a stethoscope. Following are the ways to diagnose the disease:
Blood test: A blood test may be done to look for abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the blood.
Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test that uses sound waves to create images of the heart. The test can show the size and location of an ASD. It can also show how well the heart is pumping blood.
Chest x-ray: A chest x-ray may be done to check the size and shape of your heart and lungs. An ASD can sometimes be seen on a chest x-ray.
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your heart. An MRI can often show an ASD that can’t be seen on an echocardiogram.
Cardiac catheterization: During this test, a long, thin tube (catheter) is inserted through a vein in the leg and threaded through the heart. The catheter is used to inject dye into the heart. The dye makes it easier to see the hole on an x-ray.
Ways to Treat a Hole in the Heart Other than Surgery
Several medications, such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, can be used to treat a hole in the heart. These medications can help improve the symptoms of a hole in the heart, such as shortness of breath and fatigue. In some cases, these medications may also help reduce the hole’s size.
Another way to treat a hole in the heart is through catheterization. This procedure involves threading a small tube through the blood vessels to the heart. Once at the heart, a device is used to close the hole. This procedure is often used for people who cannot have surgery or those with a very small hole.
3. Lifestyle changes
Making lifestyle changes is another way to treat a hole in the heart. These changes can include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. These changes can help to improve the symptoms of a hole in the heart and may also help to reduce the size of the hole.
4. Pacemakers or ICD
If you have a hole in your heart, you may need a pacemaker or ICD. These devices help your heart beat at a normal rate. A pacemaker is a small device placed under your chest’s skin. It uses electrical pulses to make your heart beat at a regular pace. An ICD is similar to a pacemaker but can also give you shocks if your heart rate gets too high. It is an excellent alternative to surgery and has a very high success rate.
The Bottom Line
Heart hole surgery is a highly effective treatment for a hole in the heart, with a success rate of over 95%. However, some may be candidates for nonsurgical hole-in-the-heart treatment. If you have a hole in the heart, talk to your doctor about your treatment options.
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