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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Atrial Septal Defect

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is an abnormal opening between the upper left and right chambers (atria) of the heart. This opening allows blood to leak between the two atria. An ASD is present at birth, but may not be found until later in life.

An ASD closure is done to seal off or close an opening between the right and left atrium of the heart.

In the past, an ASD could only be closed during open-heart surgery. An ASD closure done in the Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) lab offers a less invasive option.

During this procedure, a thin catheter (tube) is threaded to the heart from the blood vessels in the groin area. The catheter, guided by X-ray, allows a special device to be put in place to close the ASD. The procedure lasts about one to two hours. An overnight hospital stay may be needed.


For more information regarding atrial septal defect, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 1-866-662-8467 or request a first time appointment online.

Last UpdateJune 28, 2011