Upon confirmation of an ASD, the treatment depends on the type and size of the defect, its effect on the heart, and whether any other related conditions such as pulmonary hypertension, valve disease or coronary artery disease are present. Your cardiologists is the best person to determine what type of repair is warranted.
ASDs can be treated non-surgically (preferred method of treatment for most ASDs) however surgery might be needed to repair some types of ASDs such as large atrial septal defects. Surgical repair is usually performed using a tissue patch, preferably from the patient’s own pericardium (heart tissue). Some ASDs can be surgically closed with sutures alone. Prior to the introduction of a non-surgical approach, ASDs were only treated surgically, regardless of the type of defect.
At Mercy Angiography we offer a non-surgical approach using the AMPLATZER® Septal Occluder to treat the septal defect.
The AMPLATZER® Septal Occluder
is made made from an alloy of nickel and titanium. Each occluder has a Nitinol wire mesh that is shaped into two flat discs and a middle, or "waist" to fit the defect size. The polyester fabric inserts are designed to help close the hole and provide a foundation for growth of tissue over the occluder after placement.
The procedure will be conducted in an angiography suite (“cath lab”) at Mercy Angiography, which is in the Mercy Hospital at 98 Mountain Road, Epsom in Auckland. Your interventional cardiologist will be assisted by nurses and other highly trained staff.
As the ASD closure is performed using general anaesthesia, you will not be aware of anything during the procedure.
At the start of the procedure, your interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter (soft plastic tube) from a small incision in the groin, into the heart using fluoroscopy (x-ray) guidance. This process, known as cardiac catheterisation, is used to determine the size and location of the septal defect as well as measure pressures inside the heart chambers.
Following this, the closure device, attached to a catheter, is advanced to the heart and through the defect using x-ray guidance and echocardiography. The cardiologists then deploys the occluder to expand each disc on either side of the defect, closing off the hole.
An interventional cardiologist delivers the septal occluder into the heart via a small plastic tube called a catheter. , by an interventional cardiologist to access the heart and place the occluder using x-ray and echocardiography. The interventional cardiologists then deploys the occluder to expand each disc on either side of the defect, closing off the hole. Over time, tissue will grow over the implant and it will become part of the heart.