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Can a hole in the heart close on its own?

Q: My 3 years old daughter is suffering from an atrial septal defect (small to medium size). This was diagnosed through an echocardiogram. The doctor told us to come after 2 years from for another echocardiogram as there are some chances that it might heal on its own; if not, then he will discuss the other options like cardiac catheterisation or an open heart surgery. He neither prescribed any medication nor suggested any precautions and told us to continue her activities as before. What are the chances that the hole closes on its own? Is it advisable to wait for two more years? Is the cardiac catheterisation procedure for children available in India?

A:

  1. Yes, the chances of spontaneous closure of atrial septal defect are slim.
  2. It is advisable to wait, if the hole is not large, as the catheterization and surgery are safer in an older child.
  3. Facilities for care of children with heart defects are available in all metropolitan cities in India.

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