Written by Padma Sundareson | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Jul 22, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who operates on children with septal defects?

A cardio-thoracic surgeon with interest in pediatric cardiac surgery usually operate on the patients.

2. Who follows up these children?

A pediatric cardiologist (physician) follows up the children.

3. What are holes in the heart?

Atrial and ventricular septal defects are the most common forms of congenital heart disease. They are generally called as hole(s) in the heart. A septum is a wall separating the left and right side of the heart. The atrial septum separates the atria or the upper chambers. The ventricular septum separates the ventricles or the lower chambers.

4. How do they form?

There are no definite answers as to why a septal defect was formed. But, studies have shown relationship of genes responsible in the development of the heart is found on chromosome 21. Also half of the patients with Down’s syndrome have septal defects and about 25% of patients with septal defects have Down’s syndrome. Sometimes septal defects can be hereditary or due to environmental causes. There can be children with septal defects without any genetic reasons.

5. Can pregnant women have chest x-rays?

Some doctors believe that no diagnostic X-rays can increase the chances of having a fetus with congenital problems. This risk is reported to as less as one in a million. To be on the safe side, a pregnant woman should postpone her elective X-rays. If it is must then the uterus can be shielded during all X-rays. Risk is high for lower back, abdominal or pelvic x-rays. If possible, these tests should be replaced with a less ionizing radiation test like ultrasound.

6. Are congenital abnormalities common in babies of women over 40 years of age?

Most women over 40 years of age have normal pregnancies. Yet, they are more prone to have babies with congenital defect, mostly relating to chromosomal abnormalities (e.g. Down’s syndrome). There are tests like amniocentesis that can diagnose these conditions prenatally.


Angel_C Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I have VSD since birth [Tetralogy of Fallot] and I'm now 29 years old, I'm aware that I'm not allowed to do any strenuous activities but is yoga allowable for me? I can't afford to go to a doctor. I'm from a 3rd world country in Asia.

motisagar Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Man56 Thursday, September 8, 2011

dear friend, why don't u try get BPL [below poverty line]card, once this card made i belive free medicins and treatment avilable at all govt hospitals.

RameshRaju Tuesday, January 8, 2013

get it done in Sathyasai Institute of Medical sciences in Bangalore.. They will do for free..

Kuotkuany Saturday, July 23, 2011

Well and briefly explained; VSD account for upto 25% of all Cardiac Heart Failure, which simply means that 2 out of 1000 lives birth are affected. Isolated complex malformations do happened and lower left sternal edge with/or without parasternal thrill is encountered mostly during examination. Yeah/and ballabalala....

manuheart123 Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ventricular Septal Defect Ventricular Septal Defect is usually symptomless at birth. It usually manifests a few weeks after birth. Small VSD can be asymptomatic, but larger ones can result in heart failure, pulmonary hypertension or growth restriction with recurrent respiratory infections like pneumonia. Other features may be poor weight gain, breathlessness on breast feeding and increased heart rate. If not intervened, it can develop into Eisenmenger Syndrome, which has a very bad outcome. http://heart-consult.com

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