What is Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)?
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is one of the most common type of congenital heart defects. In VSD, there is a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart (the right and left ventricles). This hole allows increased blood flow to the lungs.
After birth, a baby with VSD can develop symptoms such as trouble feeding, excessive sleepiness, breathing problems, sweating, and failure to thrive. Small VSDs may close on their own while larger VSDs often require surgery.
How is VSD diagnosed during pregnancy?
If your doctor suspects VSD after reviewing your routine ultrasound, he or she may request a fetal echocardiogram, or an ultrasound of the fetus’s heart. This echocardiogram shows the structure of the heart and how it is functioning, which can help us confirm the diagnosis and decide on the best option for treatment after delivery.
How does VSD affect delivery?
Most babies with VSD can be delivered vaginally at full-term unless otherwise indicated by your obstetrician. In most cases, for isolated VSD, your delivery plan does not need to be altered.
How does the diagnosis of VSD affect my child after delivery?
Most babies with isolated VSDs do not have symptoms right after birth. Your infant may develop fast breathing, sweating, or poor feeding in the first month of life.
What are the treatments and surgeries for VSD?
In early infancy, a baby may require medications and supplemental feedings (high in calories) to help with symptomatic treatment and weight gain.
Some small VSDs may close on their own. For larger VSDs, open heart surgery is generally performed around 4 - 6 months of age. After the surgery, children need regular follow-up visits with a cardiologist to monitor their progress, but usually lead healthy, normal lives.