The heart is made up of 4 chambers: two filling chambers (medical term: right and left atria) and two pumping chambers (medical term: right and left ventricles). In the normal heart, the left ventricle pumps blood to the body and the right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs.
The left heart contains oxygen-rich blood for the body. The right heart contains oxygen-poor blood, which is pumped through the lungs to be filled with oxygen.
The term AVSD is shorthand for Atrioventricular Septal Defect. Translating this into plain English:
Therefore, people born with AVSDs have a HOLE in the WALL between both the UPPER AND LOWER CHAMBERS of the heart. This can increase blood flow to the lungs. This can cause high blood pressure in the lungs, leading to a condition called pulmonary hypertension.
AVSDs also affect the aortic and pulmonary valves. Instead of 2 separate valves on the left and right side of the heart, there may be one big valve. In other types of AVSD, the left and right valves are partly joined together. Blood can leak across the valve(s), making more work for the heart. Over time, this can weaken the heart muscle and cause heart failure.
If you have a partial AVSD, this usually means that there is a hole between the upper chambers and a problem with the valve.
It’s pretty common and we see lots of patients with repaired AVSD at TGH.
If I was born with AVSD, what do I need to know?
Most patients with AVSDs will have had surgery when they were young. Later on, people with repaired AVSDs may have new symptoms. These can be a clue that there is a problem with the heart.
You should tell your doctor about the following symptoms:
If these symptoms occur it is important to let your doctor know.
Because patients with AVSDs can have new heart problems when they get older, it is very important to be followed closely by an Adult CHD centre.
Heart ultrasounds (Echos), CTs and MRIs are used to monitor the strength of the heart.
Treatment can include:
This website is designed specifically for young people with congenital heart disease. The goal is to provide information to help people who are getting ready to move (or have recently moved) to adult heart care. We use the term ‘transition’ to describe this process. Family, friends and health care providers may also find this website helpful.
Please be advised this site does not provide medical advice. All of the content on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, please consult your family physician. If you have or suspect you are experiencing a health emergency, please promptly visit a Hospital Emergency Department in your area. Reliance on any information provided on or provided in relation to the site is solely at your own risk. Contributors to this website are not responsible, nor liable, for any claim, loss or damage arising from the use of the information contained within this site.
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Anyone can visit this website and most users will create their own User IDs and passwords. However, there are also Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) and pediatric cardiology programs that have officially joined the iHeartChange team and work together to keep this website going. (You can find a list of the ACHD programs in the ‘Welcome to Adult Care’ section of the website). Some of these programs might choose to assign User IDs so that they can track of and how patients from their own programs visit the website. They might even want to track this for research. If you have been assigned a User ID from a program, that program might ask us to give them information about your answers to the ‘Getting to Know You’ survey, how many times you log into the website and which web pages you visit.
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If you visit them all, you can earn a transition diploma!
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HELPING YOU MAKE THE MOVE TO ADULT CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE CARE
Thanks for checking out our website!
This website is designed mainly for young people with congenital heart disease (CHD). The aim is to help people feel more ready to “transition” from pediatric to adult care. And we know that family, friends and health care providers might also want to check it out!
Since this is your first visit, please read our disclaimer!