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Atrial Septal Defect Transcatheter Closure


Atrial septal defect (ASD) transcatheter closure is also called ASD closure. ASD closure is done to close a hole in your heart.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Blood tests may be done to check your condition before the procedure.
  • A Foley catheter is a tube put into your bladder to drain your urine. The Foley catheter is usually pulled out shortly after the procedure.
  • Medicines:
    • Antibiotics may be given to help you fight an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Blood thinners may be given before, during, and after your procedure. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise. Use an electric razor and soft toothbrush to help prevent bleeding.
  • Anesthesia makes you comfortable during the procedure. Caregivers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia keeps you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. You may get anesthesia through your IV. You may breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into the skin where you will have the procedure. It is used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure.

During your procedure:

  • 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 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.

  • Tell your caregiver if you have any of the following:
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Change in color or temperature of your arm or leg
    • Pain, numbness, or tingling in your arm or leg
    • Pain in your back, thigh, or groin.
    • Nausea
    • Excessive sweating
  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine may be given to take away or decrease your pain.
      • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.
      • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
    • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
  • You will be able to eat and drink gradually after your procedure. You will begin with ice chips or clear liquids, such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then eat soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.


  • 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.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.