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Woman's heart hole closed without surgery in RAK.

With the use of recently developed revolutionary technique, a small blocking device is placed into the heart through a blood vessel, which is then moved into place with guide wires to block the hole.

A mother of two in her 30s oblivious of the fact that she had a hole in her heart started complaining of intermittent fast heart beat and other complications.

Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Consultant Cardiologist at RAK Hospital, found that she was experiencing the problem due to a hole in the heart which was confirmed after examination and evaluation. And the heart hole was successfully closed without surgery by the specialist through the use of a new technique.

This was an adult case of Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) which remained undiagnosed for almost three decades. Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a heart defect that is present at birth (congenital). While the baby is in the womb, there is normally an opening between the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to allow blood to flow around the lungs. This opening usually closes around the time the baby is born. If the opening does not close, the hole is called an atrial septal defect, or ASD.

She never had any complications even during childbirth which according to Dr Radhakrishnan is typical of these holes as complications start abruptly. Septal defects are the most common heart problems and many times go unnoticed.

"People needn't be scared and should know that 80 per cent of such cases can be solved without an open heart surgery. With the use of recently developed revolutionary technique, a small blocking device is placed into the heart through a blood vessel, which is then moved into place with guide wires to block the hole. This completely eliminates the need for an open surgery," added Dr Radhakrishnan.

The procedure just takes an hour and the patient can be usually discharged the next day which happened in this case, as well. During pregnancy, there are prenatal screening tests to check for birth defects and other conditions. This kind of defect might be seen during an ultrasound, but depends on the size of the hole and its location. In some babies, the defect is present at birth, but many do not have any signs or symptoms. Signs and symptoms of a large or untreated atrial septal defect may include frequent respiratory or lung infections, difficulty in breathing, tiredness when feeding (infants), shortness of breath when being active or exercising, skipped heartbeats or a sense of feeling the heartbeat, a heart murmur, or a whooshing sound that can be heard with a stethoscope, swelling of legs, feet or stomach and stroke.

Treatment for an atrial septal defect depends on the age of diagnosis, the number of or seriousness of symptoms, size of the hole, and presence of other conditions. If a child is diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, the health-care provider may want to monitor it for a while to see if the hole closes on its own. During this period of time, the health care provider might treat symptoms with medicine. A health care provider may recommend surgery for a child with a large atrial septal defect, even if there are few symptoms, to prevent problems later in life. Surgery may also be recommended for an adult who has many or severe symptoms. Surgery involves fixing the hole and may be done through cardiac catheterisation or open-heart surgery. After surgery, follow-up care will depend on the size of the defect, person's age, and whether the person has other birth defects.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 2, 2014
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