Another name for VSD is Ventricular Septal Defect.
What is a ventricular septal defect?
A person with a ventricular septal defect has a hole in the ventricular septum, which separates the lower chambers of the heart, called the ventricles. Normally, the septum prevents blood from flowing from the left ventricle to the right ventricle. A ventricular septal defect allows blood to flow from the left ventricle to the right ventricle. This abnormal blood flow can damage the right ventricle and damage the lungs. The cause of a ventricular septal defect is congenital heart disease, which is abnormal development of the heart in the womb. A ventricular septal defect is present in about 3 out of 1000 people in the US.
What are the symptoms of a ventricular septal defect?
Symptoms of a ventricular septal defect in an adult may include chest pain, cough, palpitations, and faintness or shortness of breath during exertion. Symptoms of a ventricular septal defect in an infant may include shortness of breath while feeding, weight loss, and failure to thrive.
How does the doctor treat a ventricular septal defect?
In infants, about 50% of small ventricular septal defects close without treatment, as the hole in the septum gradually closes over time. Surgery may be required to close large ventricular septal defects.
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