An Atrial Septal Defect, or ASD, is an abnormal hole in the wall of the upper chambers of the heart. This hole restricts the chambers from closing completely.
The fetal heart has an opening, or a foramen ovale, between the upper chambers that close soon after birth. If this does not happen, the heart has an open (patent) foramen ovale, or PFO. A cardiac cath lab procedure can close both ASDs and PFOs.
How it’s done:
- A catheter guides a flexible closure device into the heart through a blood vessel.
- The device opens like an umbrella to plug the hole.
The catheter is removed, leaving the device behind the keep the hold closed. Eventually the heart covers the device in tissue.