Is it necessary to open the whole of the heart to repair an ASD?
An atrial septal defect (ASD) can be repaired even without surgery by a catheter based device which can occlude the defect with a clam shell like ASD device. Even when the defect is not suitable for a device closure due to absence of good rim all around for the device to hold, ASD repair does not need opening up the whole heart. Even opening up of the sternum is not needed for closing an ASD. A surgery on the right side of the chest, below the breast can give access to an ASD, which can be closed by opening up the right atrium alone. Hospital stay is also short in this case, about four days.
Sternum: Breast bone, situated in the middle of the chest
Atrial septal defect: A defect in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart
Atrium: Upper chamber of the heart (left and right)
Atrial: Related to the upper chamber of the heart
Catheter: Small tubes introduced into the heart to study its function and defects or to treat heart disease