Everything You Need to Know About Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Closure Surgery

VSD or Ventricular Septal Defect is a congenital condition wherein the septum that divides the lower ventricles is incomplete, leaving a gap or hole. It results in the mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. Small VSD causes no problem and may close itself, but medium or large VSD may require early surgical repair to prevent complications. Other genetic abnormalities like down’s syndrome are also related to VSD. It is a major surgical procedure and requires expert supervision and the best hospitals. Also, VSD closure surgery costs in India are too high to be born by a below poverty line population. However, it is comparatively lower in India compared to other countries.


Types of VSD

  • Membranous VSD: The opening in the upper ventricular septum near the aortic and tricuspid valve does not close naturally, and surgery is needed.

  • Muscular VSD: The opening in the muscular portion of the lower ventricular septum may close on its own, and surgery might not be needed.

  • Atrioventricular canal type VSD: A defect near the tricuspid and mitral valve usually requires surgical intervention.

  • Conal septal VSD: It is the rarest type of VSD, just near the pulmonary valve.


Symptoms of VSD

Following are some of the common symptoms of VSD:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Murmurs

  • Lethargy

  • Cyanosis

  • Arrhythmia

  • Swollen extremities

Diagnosis of VSD

A good and successful surgical procedure depends on an accurate diagnosis. It is also important that the cardiac surgeon does not increase the cost of VSD closure surgery in India by unnecessarily ordering lab tests that are not required. It might add to the overall cost of VSD closure surgery in India.

  1. Echocardiogram: To interpret the anatomical structure of the heart and the quantity of blood pumped from the heart.

  2. Electrocardiogram: To check the heart rhythm.

  3. Chest X-ray: Identify the shape and dimensions of the core.

  4. Coronary catheterization: To identify blocked blood vessels.

  5. Magnetic resonance imaging: Provides a comprehensive image of heart chambers and blood vessels.

Treatment of VSD

Many procedures can be followed depending on the severity and condition:

1. Observation:

Minor congenital heart defects in adults won’t need any treatment. However, they require routine check-ups to control the severity of the flaw. These check-ups add to the cost of VSD closure surgery in India


2. Drug therapies:

Medicines can be used for small septal defects to help the heart work better. They reduce the heartbeat, relax blood vessels, prevent blood clot formation, and discharge excess fluid from the entire body.


3. Cost of surgery in India:

The cost is approximately Rs, Three Lakhs Thirty thousand. Around 11 days is required for the procedure on average.


4. Procedure:

Some pre-operative steps are done before surgery:

  • Physical evaluation: To confirm whether the individual is fit to undergo the operation or not.

  • Blood evaluation: To determine the performance of other organs. It is done to ascertain the blood group if blood transfusion is required during the procedure.

  • Chest x-ray: Reveals the size and shape of the heart.

  • Electrocardiogram: Determines heart rhythm.
    The patient is given antibiotics before any surgical procedure to decrease the chances of disease. 

5. Surgery:

There are two procedures in VSD surgery :

  1. Intracardiac- It is to treat VSD in kids. It is an open heart surgery performed while the patient is on a heart-lung machine. The surgeon sews a patch or part of the pericardium present outside within the VSD. It closes the VSD fully, and gradually it is covered by normal tissue.

  2. Catheter intervention- The catheter tube is passed via blood vessels into the heart in this procedure. It is ideal for small and minor defects.

6. Recovery.

The patient is in an Intensive care unit(ICU) after the procedure. The total number of days a patient remains in the hospital depends on factors like the type of defect, its extent, complication during surgery, and overall patient recovery rate. The patient has to stay in the hospital for a minimum of 1 week. Following that, follow-ups are planned. In the recovery phase, extreme care has to be taken so that the patient does not develop endocarditis. The patient who undergoes VSD surgery has a high chance of developing bacterial endocarditis.

    7. Post-surgery:

The patient must visit a cardiologist for routine check-ups. If the patient has other congenital problems apart from VSD, he must consult an adult congenital heart disorder expert.

The cost of VSD closure surgery in India is much less and affordable than in the US. India is one of the leading nations and a pioneer in providing high-quality medical treatment at affordable prices. VSD is major surgery and must be conducted in reputed hospitals by experienced cardiac surgeons. The pre-operative evaluation, diagnosis, a surgical procedure to post-operative recovery, must be handled by expert doctors. In case there are complications, they must be treated at the onset so that they do not aggravate.


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