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What are the surgery options for closing the hole in the heart?

Q: My 2 years old daughter has been diagnosed with 11 mm x 9.5 mm fossa ovalis atrial defect with left to right deficient aortic rim, dilated RV/RA with no pulmonary artery hypertension through the echocardiography test. The doctor has suggested a surgery. Is there any treatment without surgery? Will open-heart surgery leave scar on her chest, which may affect her future? Is the implant technique safe? Will this surgery affect her quality of life later?

A:A hole in the heart can be closed either with an open-heart surgery or using a device by percutaneous technique. However, there are pre requisite qualifications for a device closure, specially the rims of the defect should be well defined. As you have written that the aortic rim is deficient, therefore the hole needs to be defined clearly in the echocardiography and decision taken, whether device closure is feasible or not. If your doctor has taken a decision that surgery is advisable, then I presume that rim is grossly deficient and therefore he considers it prudent to go in for surgery. One needs to see the echocardiography first hand to take these decisions.

Regarding your second query, certainly open-heart surgery would leave a scar but it should not affect the future life and the implant technique is safe to the degree of almost 98-99%. Lastly the surgery is curative and does not affect the quality of life later on. In about 4-6 weeks time, an individual can get back to full activities without any residual problems.

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