Atrial Septal Defect Transcatheter Closure
What you should know
Atrial septal defect (ASD) transcatheter closure is also called ASD closure. ASD closure is done to close a hole in your heart.
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- The catheter could cause bleeding, a bruise, and soreness in the area where the catheter was placed. You may bleed more than expected and need open heart surgery to repair the hole. Air bubbles in your blood could cause a stroke. Fluid could build up in your lungs and cause trouble breathing. You could get a collapsed lung or an infection. You could have an allergic reaction or kidney problems from the dye used during the procedure.
- A blood clot may form on the ASD closure device. The ASD closure device could move out of place. If this happens, you may need open heart surgery to remove the device and repair the hole with a patch or stitches. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening. Without this procedure, your symptoms may get worse. You could develop heart failure.
The week before your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Tell your caregiver if you have bleeding problems. Ask your caregiver for instructions about your medicines. Be sure to ask about taking aspirin or other blood thinners before your ASD closure.
- A dye will be used during your procedure to help the pictures of your heart show up better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
- You may need to have blood tests, an ECG, or a chest x-ray. Ask your caregiver for information about these and other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
The night before your procedure:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
- You will get medicine called local anesthesia that will numb the area where the catheter will go in. You may get general anesthesia to keep you asleep and comfortable during the ASD closure. Two catheters may be put in. One may go into your vein and the other into your artery. These catheters are usually put into your groin area. The catheters are gently threaded (pushed) to the heart chambers and blood vessels.
- Next, your caregivers will use dye and x-rays to look at your heart. An echocardiogram may also be used. The echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to show images of your heart during the procedure. A balloon-tipped catheter is put in the middle of your ASD and inflated to measure the size. This helps your caregivers pick a device of the right size to close your ASD. Your caregivers will then close your ASD with a device. Once the device is put over the hole, the pressure of blood between the right and left atria help hold it in place. Heart tissue will grow over the device in about 3 months.
After your procedure:
The catheter will be removed and a tight pressure bandage will be put on your wound. You may have a collagen plug or stitches to stop the bleeding. Caregivers will also put pressure on the area to stop the bleeding. A pressure bag may be used to apply pressure for 2 or more hours. You will need to lie still and flat after the procedure to prevent bleeding. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure.
Seek Care Immediately if
- The problems for which you are having the procedure get worse.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.