Atrial Septal Defect Closure

What Is Atrial Septal Defect Closure?

Closure of an atrial septal defect (ASD) is typically done for patients who are experiencing complications such as stroke, congestive heart failure, or pulmonary hypertension. Some patients who are found to have a large amount of blood flow through the defect might also be appropriate for closure to prevent future complications. During this procedure a closure device is placed across the ASD to prevent blood from crossing from the right side of the heart to the left side of the heart with the goal of preventing strokes.

What Can an Atrial Septal Defect Closure Accomplish?

After an atrial septal defect closure, proper blood flow and circulation is restored to your body, giving you more energy. It can also:

  • Reduce risk of future embolic strokes
  • Reduce or eliminate swelling in feet and legs
  • Enable you to be more physically active without experiencing fatigue or shortness of breath

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

This procedure is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab using fluoroscopic guidance with an Interventional Cardiologist. This is a minimally invasive procedure where a small incision is made in the groin to access the vein to place an IV. The rest of the procedure is performed through this IV or sheath. Through this sheath, a catheter or long tube is advanced through the ASD to deploy a closure device made of GORE-TEX® or Nitinol metal mesh plug that expands to fill the defect and block blood flow. Two such devices are the GORE Cardioform Septal Occluder and the St. Jude Amplatzer ASD Occluder devices. This procedure is often done with moderate sedation similar to a heart catheterization.


Your recovery will depend heavily on your condition before the procedure. Recovery often includes an overnight observation on our telemetry floor. Patient are able to get back to their prior activity with minimal restrictions after leaving the hospital. 

Estimated Recovery Timeline

Many people feel relief of symptoms almost immediately. You will tire easily in the days following hospital discharge, but your energy will increase as you heal. Make sure to keep your follow-up appointments and follow instructions for heart-healthy eating and exercise.

Atrial Septal Defect Closure Possible Risks

Any medical procedure carries risks, but ASD closure is typically a safe and effective procedure. You will be given instructions about how to avoid these specific risks, as well as what to do if you experience these issues after your procedure:

  • Blood clot or damage to the blood vessel at catheter insertion sites
  • Significant blood loss that may require blood transfusion 
  • Infection 
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Stroke

Next Steps with MyChart

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