HOLE IN THE HEART Overview, Facts, Types,Symptoms- Watsons Health


Hole in the heart, also known as ventricular septal defect (VSD), is a heart defect that exists since birth. The defect is present in the wall that separates the ventricles and allows blood to pass from the left to the right side of the heart. The heart will have difficulty in working if the oxygen-rich blood get pumped back the lungs instead of going to the body.

A surgical procedure is needed immediately for children who have medium to large VSDs to prevent future complications. Some small VSDs have no further medical issues because they may close on their own.


In the first few weeks of the child after he or she is born, the signs and symptoms of serious heart defects may usually appear.

If your baby have a hole in a heart, the symptoms may include:

  • Baby easily gets tired
  • Breathlessness or fast breathing
  • Loss of appetite and failure to thrive

The signs and symptoms of a hole in a heart when a person reaches adulthood are:

  • Tires easily when eating or playing
  • Is not gaining weight
  • Becomes breathless when eating or crying
  • Breathes rapidly or is short of breath
  • Shortness of breath when the person exerts effort or when he or she lies down
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue or weakness


If your doctor finds out that you have the signs and symptoms of a heart defect and if he or she hears a murmur in your heart with a stethoscope, various tests will be requested:


If your child has a hole in the heart, a surgical procedure is needed to avoid future problems. However, doctors will also consider the size of the hole. Small holes may close on its own, while medium or large holes need to be closed immediately through surgery.

Medications are needed to:

  • Decrease the amount of fluid in the circulation and in the lungs.
  • Keep the heartbeat regular.

Surgical treatment for ventricular septal defects involve plugging or patching the abnormal opening between the ventricles. This surgery is only performed by experts like surgeons and cardiologists.

Procedures may include:

  • Surgical repair
  • Catheter procedure
  • Hybrid procedure

Medical follow up is needed to make sure that the hole in the heart remains closed.

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