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Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

Atrial_Septal_DefectAtrial septal defect (ASD), is a heart condition present from birth – a hole in the wall of the atrium (the upper chamber of the heart) that allows blood to flow from the left to the right.

With a small-to-moderate atrial septal defect, a person may live a normal life span without symptoms. Larger defects may cause disability by middle age because of increased blood flow, which, if left untreated, can result in heart failure or stroke. Other complications include bacterial infection of the heart, heart failure and an abnormally fast heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.

Of the several treatment options available for repairing the ASD, the most widely used is a surgical approach, involving a median sternonomy incision. This requires your surgeon to open the chest by making a twelve-inch incision in the breastbone exposing the heart and its vessels. This is considered one of the most invasive and traumatic aspects of cardiac surgery.

However, Atrial Septal Defect repair utilizing the daVinci™ robot allows your surgeon to perform this procedure through small ports or openings in the chest wall between the ribs. This method involves many of the same steps as open-chest heart surgery, but typically eliminates one of the most painful steps, the need to open the chest.

For most patients, minimally invasive cardiac procedures performed with the da Vinci™ surgical robot can offer many potential benefits over open-chest surgery, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities