Saturday, March 22 2003
Septal defect: A septal defect occurs when a hole develops in the wall (septum) of the heart. The septum separates the right and left sides of the heart. Septal defects can lead to the improper circulation of blood, making the heart work overtime. An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the heart's two upper chambers. A hole in the wall between the two lower chambers is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Treatment varies for both ASD and VSD. If the problem is not too serious, sometimes holes will heal themselves over time. More severe cases may require open heart surgery.