What Is the Surgery Procedure for a Hole in the Heart?


Quick Answer

Surgical treatments for a hole in the heart involve open-heart surgery or a procedure to implant a closure device through cardiac catheterization, according to the American Heart Association. Two types of holes can develop in the heart requiring possible treatment: patent foramen ovale and atrial septal defect.

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Closure devices are used to treat patent foramen ovale and atrial septal defects, states the American Heart Association. During cardiac catheterization, a surgeon inserts a closure device into a vein in the groin, and with imaging assistance, moves the closure device through the vein and places it over the hole in the heart, explains the University of Rochester Medical Center. Over time, scar tissue forms around the closure device.

If open-heart surgery is necessary to close a hole in the heart, a small incision is made, and stitches are used to close the defect, sometimes using robotic techniques, reports Mayo Clinic.

An atrial septal defect occurs when septal tissue fails to form between the atria of the heart, according to the American Heart Association. This is a congenital heart defect. A patent foramen ovale occurs after birth when the foramen ovale does not close. The foramen ovale closes for approximately 75 percent of infants within a few months after birth. In most cases, no surgical treatment is required to treat patent foramen ovale defects.

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