Septal Closures

Why is the doctor performing this procedure?

To close an abnormal hole (called a defect) between two of the heart's chambers. Septal closure is used most often to repair atrial septal defects (ASD) and patent foramen ovalesĀ  (PFO).

What is the procedure?

There are two techniques to repair a septal defect: the traditional surgical method or a less-invasive, catheter-based approach. The doctor will determine which technique is best, depending upon the severity and type of defect.

Septal Closure utilizing the catheter-based technique allows minimally invasive closure of an atrial septal defect (ASD), a patent foramen ovale (PFO) or a ventricular septal defect (VSD). A balloon-tipped catheter is inserted first into an artery, usually in the groin (the femoral artery). It is advanced to the right side of the heart and positioned with the defect. The balloon is inflated and deflated, producing an indentation to accurately measure the size and shape of the defect. The balloon catheter is removed, and then another catheter with the septal closure device attached is advanced to the right side of the heart. Once properly positioned within the defect, an umbrella-like device is opened within the heart's chambers, first in the left atrium (or ventricle) and then in the right atrium (or ventricle). The umbrella seals tightly to the surrounding normal septal tissue, creating a permanent closure of the defect. The catheter is removed, and the septal closure device remains in place.

Closures of ASDs, PFOs, and VSDs are usually performed using ultrasound catheters to visualize and guide the procedure. These catheters are usually placed via a vein in the leg (Intracardiac Echo or ICE) or through the esophagus (Transesophageal Echo or TEE).

Where is the procedure performed?

In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

How long does this procedure take?

Septal closure usually takes 1-2 hours.