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A hole in your heart ? Don’t panic !

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Updated 2018/9/16 20:53:57
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An one-year old boy baby was brought to hospital due to heart murmur. Cardiac specialist found a ventricular septum defect in his heart by echocardiography. Aortic valve prolapse was found after one year of follow up. For preventing further valvular injury, repair of the ventricular septum defect (VSD) was arranged in November of 2014 at Chiayi branch of TCVGH. The whole surgery took 4 hours and the postoperative course was smooth. The boy recovered good and was discharged from hospital in one week. He is regular followed at OPD and have a healthy life. 

Another 28 year-old female came for the same disease, ventricular septum defect . She had her VSD closed in cardiac catheterization room. A VSD closure device was deployed to the defect successfully last year. As complared to the open heart surgery of the one-year boy, this procedure is relatively minimally invasive. This operation is carried out through a punctured wound over the groin region. The device introduced into the heart and is placed at an appropriate location to close the defect. Only local anesthesia is necessary. The patient could avoid an chest scar left by sternotomy. This young lady was discharged in two days and back to normal life and work. 

The incidence of congenital heart defect is about eight in one thousand. Among them, VSD is the most popular and take about 20%. Some of the VSD is associated with other types of more complicated structure anomaly. VSDs are categorized into several types, according to their locations. Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons plan the timing and treatment options by the diagnosis made. 

For example, a large defect may cause heart failure in the neonates. The presenting symptoms include: dyspnea, shortness of breath, interruption of milk-feeding, failure to thrive…… If not treated in time, the infant may suffer from under development, severe heart failure or pulmonary hypertension. Sometimes, the repair surgery is prohibited because of too high the risk. 

On the contrary, smaller defect would not cause heart failure. The infant with smaller VSD could grow up not much different from others. However, as the VSD is not treated, the valves in the heart are vulnerable to the effect of turbulent flow caused by VSD. Infective endocarditis is one of most seen complications. Valve replacement is necessary if valve repair is not possible due to severe injury. Once a patient has a mechanical valve, anticoagulation would be necessary lifelong. VSD repair with open heart surgery or device deployment is advisable before complications of VSD have ensured. 

Chiayi has been an area of inadequate medical resources. Residents are also provided with incomplete informations. Patients with such diseases are forced to go to other cities, Taichung or Tainan, for help. TCVGH-Chiayi now has a comprehensive treatment program for congenital heart disease. These two patients with VSD are treated in the past half year. The results are good. We continue to provide such comprehensive treatment for patients in this area.