Ventricular Septal Defect

What is Ventricular Septal Defect?

Ventricular septal defect refers to that hole in the wall (also known as septum) that separates the ventricles of the heart. This congenital disorder can also cause pulmonary hypertension. If the defect is of a minor form, it will not need any treatment but if it is major, surgery and medical management might be needed to correct the defect. This condition is a defect of the heart that is there from the time of birth, where the hole in the wall, namely septum comes to separate the two bottom chambers of the heart, also known as the ventricular septum. The cause of the defect among many children still remain unknown.

When the fetus begins to grow, a barrier develops to part the two ventricles. A hole remains there if the wall does not develop properly. This defect is among one of the most recurrent congenital defects of the heart happening to 0.1 to 0.4 % of total live births and making up only about 20-30% lesions of the heart.


People with this defect might have no symptoms at all. If the hole appears large, the baby is suspected to have symptoms of a heart failure. Common symptoms of the disease might include:

  • Excessive breathlessness.
  • Breathing rapidly.
  • Hard breathing.
  • Pale colour of the skin.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Inability to gain weight.
  • Frequent infections with respiration.
  • Tendency of sweating while feeding.



There is no clear cause of this disease, the probable ones include:

  • Early problematic development of heart.
  • Genetics and environmental factors.
  • Failure of the formation of the muscular wall between the lower heart chambers.



The main risk factors of the disease include:

  • Family history of having a congenital heart disease.
  • Genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome.



In order to prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should take care of the following:

  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Avoiding risks and infections.
  • Keeping diabetes under check.

How is it treated?

At Medanta, there are some medications, medical procedures, and preventive antibiotics that our doctor might suggest:


  • Lanoxin

    It is used to boost the ability of the contractions of the heart.

  • Lasix

     It is used to bring down the amount of fluid used in the circulation and in the lungs. They also include medications like diuretics.

  • Beta blockers and digoxin

    They are medications that help the heart to beat normally.

  • Catheter procedure

    It is where a thin tube is inserted into a blood vessel to be guided through the heart. The doctor will then use a mesh device for closing the hole.

  • Hybrid procedure

    This procedure uses techniques that are catheter-based. The heart is accessed through an incision which enables the closing of a VSD with a catheter. Recovery after this procedure is quicker than any other surgery.

  • Surgical repair

     The very name of the procedure is suggestive. It will include an open-heart surgery under general anesthesia. Here the doctor will use a stitch to close the hole in the chest while he performs the surgery.

  • Preventive antibiotics

     Antibiotics are only recommended by doctors, if there is a high risk of having complications from infective endocarditis.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately consult a doctor, if your baby reflects symptoms such as fast heart rate, pale skin colour, breathlessness, and inability to gain weight. All these symptoms will be treated just right by our medical experts at Medanta.

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