How Much Does Atrial Septal Defect Closure Cost?

An unborn foetus has an opening between the upper, right, and left chambers

(atria) of the heart to allow the free passage of blood, thus bypassing the lungs. This opening closes by the time of birth. Unclosed openings at birth are a congenital defect known as atrial septal defect (ASD). There are no known health care methods that can prevent this defect. However, initial detection and subsequent health care measures can avoid problems cropping up later. Doctors identify this defect by listening with a stethoscope. They confirm the unusual chest sounds and murmur later by echocardiogram.

Correcting an Atrial Septal Defect

Four out of every 100,000 people suffer with an atrial septal defect. They require proper health care as they are prone to frequent respiratory infections, shortness of breath, and irregular heart rates. The need for treatment arises when major symptoms cause disability during middle age by increasing the blood flow and by the shunting back of blood into the pulmonary canal. The symptoms are not normally apparent during childhood. People with major ASD stand the risk of heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and infective endocarditis. But people with small heart openings have mild to moderate symptoms and do not require treatment. They may not even exhibit any symptoms.

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Health Care during ASD Treatment

Pre-surgery tests include a chest x-ray, Doppler study of heart, echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, and MRI of the chest. Coronary angiography is required for patients d over 35 when this opening is to be surgically closed. However, a new procedure that enables closure without surgery has been tried. A tiny incision is made in the groin to introduce catheters. An Amplatz device is sent through the catheters, and the opening is blocked, rectifying the defect. This new procedure might not be appropriate for all types of patients

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