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 VSD is shorthand for Ventricular Septal Defect. Translating this into plain English:
Therefore, a VSD is a HOLE in the WALL that allows abnormal blood flow between the TWO PUMPING CHAMBERS.
VSDs are the most common CHD. We see lots of patients with VSDs at TGH.
VSDs come in all shapes and sizes. The location and size of the hole will determine 1) whether it causes any problems and 2) whether it needs to be closed.
Small VSDs that close by themselves don’t usually cause any problems when you’re older. For small VSDs that don’t close, problems can occur – that’s why regular visits with a cardiologist are still recommended.
Most large VSDs are closed in childhood, with surgery or other devices that act like plugs to close the hole. New problems can occur when you get older.
You should tell your doctor about the following symptoms:
This depends on the size of the VSD and whether it’s open or closed.
Heart ultrasounds (Echos), CTs and MRIs are used to monitor the strength of the heart.
If large VSDs aren’t closed, too much blood can flow to the lungs. This can cause high pressures in the lungs, and a condition known as pulmonary hypertension. If people with pulmonary hypertension have low oxygen levels or cyanosis, this is a more serious condition, called Eisenmenger Syndrome. Pulmonary hypertension may cause heart, lung, and blood problems. If permanent lung and heart damage happens, VSD closure may no longer be an option. If you have pulmonary hypertension, you need to be seen regularly in an Adult CHD clinic.
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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We have a simple ‘Getting to Know You’ survey that we ask all visitors to complete (we don’t ask for any personal health information). Website browsing activity will be monitored so that we can learn about the people who visit the website, how often people visit the website, and the web pages that are visited most often. This will help us decide which changes and improvements to make to the website in the future. Results from this project will be described for groups of website visitors (i.e., not for individual users).
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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We recommend that you register by creating your own User ID and password.
This will allow you to log in again and keep track of which pages on the website you visit.
If you visit them all, you can earn a transition diploma!
If you register, it also means that you won’t be shown the disclaimer & survey each time that you visit.
However, registration is not required.
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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!