A Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is a congenital heart defect (a child is born with it). It is a hole between the two pumping chambers of the heart.
The hole causes the heart to work harder and more blood is pumped to the lungs, which causes congestion.
If the hole is large, a child may tire quickly, catch pneumonia easily, breath rapidly and appear pale. If the hole is small, it may have no effect and may close by itself with growth of the child.
Marshfield Clinic has Pediatric Cardiologists available to diagnose and treat any child with a congenital heart defect.
Many VSDs will close on their own in the first few years of life. A pediatric cardiologist will check the child's heart regularly to see if the VSD is making the heart work too hard.
If your child has congestive heart failure symptoms, medications may be prescribed to reduce the amount of extra fluid in the lungs and help the heart work better.
Through open heart surgery, the VSD is repaired with either stitches or a patch.