The lower chambers of the heart are called ventricles. These chambers are separated by a wall named Septem. Sometimes when a child is born, there is a hole in the septum that does not get filled by itself. Gradually as the child grows, it can make a person experience different symptoms like infection, internal bleeding, clots, fatigue, and a lot more. The hole or the opening in the ventricle should close on its own before birth but when it does not, it can cause the oxygenated blood to mix with the deoxygenated blood. This defect is known as a ventricular septal defect.
What are the symptoms of Ventricular septal disorder?
When someone goes through VSD they experience several symptoms and some of them are mentioned below.
- A patient with VSD can easily get short of breath while performing hectic tasks like exercising or workouts.
- The patients with VSD usually experience setting and feeling of exhaustion quite frequently. It is because the oxygenated blood gets mixed with deoxygenated blood causing the heart to do more work than normal.
- A person who has a ventricular septal defect has blue tint on their skin and fingernails which is caused by the lack of oxygen.
- A person with VSD has swollen nodes and spleen.
- A person with Ventricular septal defect experiences abnormality in the heart rhythms. This defect is also known as arrhythmias.
If someone is persistently experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms then they should consult a doctor as soon as possible. If not diagnosed on time, VSD may cause many problems like heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, slow growth rate and much more.
How can VSD be diagnosed?
There are several ways in which VSD can be diagnosed. Various of the important ways to diagnose VSD are-
- Echocardiogram: It is an ultrasound of the heart or a form of medical imaging that is done to get an image of the heart. It helps to check if there are blood clots in the heart chambers, problems in the aorta, pressure in the heart and a lot more.
- Electrocardiogram: In this type of diagnosis the rhythm of the heart is evaluated and checked if there are discrepancy with the heartbeat
- X-Ray: Ventricular septal disorder can be diagnosed through an X-Ray. When someone has VSD, the shape and dimensions of their heart chambers changes. To determine the shape of the heart chambers an X Ray is performed.
- Coronary Catheterization: Coronary catheterization is performed to check whether there are any blocked blood vessels present in the heart. This process helps to diagnose ventricular septal defect in the body.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is an imaging test that is done to check whether the heart chambers and blood vessels are properly functioning or not. It determines if there is any problem with the heart or if a person is going through ventricular septal defect.
How can ventricular septal defects be treated?
Once a patient is diagnosed with ventricular septal defect there are several ways in which they can be treated.
Drug Therapy: This is one of the easiest ways to treat VSD. To reduce the speed of heartbeat and relax the blood vessels several drugs are induced in the patient’s body to improve the heart’s functioning. Through the drug therapies the blood clot can be prevented and even the extra discharge of fluids from the body can also be stopped.
VSD closure surgery: VSD is performed to close the hole in the ventricle of the heart. The surgery is performed on normal anesthesia. A patient is given anaesthesia and a heart-lung machine is attached to the patient. Once the anesthesia has started to work, the surgeon makes an incision in the middle of the patient’s chest and separates the breast bone to reach the heart. Once the surgeon has found the site of the hole, a patch is put to close the hole. The skin will grow around the woven patch. Once the surgery has been performed the heart-lung machine will be removed. When the surgery is complete the patient’s breastbone will be reattached with the wires and finally, a bandage will be applied so that the patient can recover from the surgery with ease.
Once the surgery is complete the patient will be made to stay in the recovery room for a few hours. A patient might also be advised to stay in the ICU. Meanwhile the doctors will check the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and oxygen levels. If the patient experiences pain, then the medicine will be provided. Several tests like electrocardiogram or echocardiogram will be performed to ensure that the patient’s heart is working properly. Once the patient recovers properly they can take a discharge after a week or so.
The patient is advised to take a follow up after several weeks of surgery. This step will help the doctors diagnose if there are any side effects