How do catheter-based procedures for ASD closure work?


Physicians have been performing catheter-based procedures in the heart to make diagnoses and treat heart conditions for many years. Catheter closure of an ASD involves the placement of a permanent implant, such as the GORE HELEX Septal Occluder, using a minimally invasive procedure (non-surgery, usually small incision or cut in skin).

A cardiac catheterization catheterization procedure for an ASD closure typically takes one to two hours to complete. General anesthesia is often used to keep the patient asleep during the procedure.

While the patient is asleep, an ultrasound probe will be placed into the esophagus (tube running from the mouth to the stomach) or a vein to allow the physician to view the heart throughout the procedure. This will help ensure accurate positioning of the ASD closure device (the device that will close the hole in the heart).

A catheter (a long, narrow, hollow tube) will be inserted into a blood vessel through a small incision, usually located on the inner thigh. The catheter will then be advanced until it reaches the heart. An ASD closure device will then be passed through the hollow catheter and into the heart where it will be positioned to close the heart defect.

The ASD closure device is released from the catheter, and left in the heart, preventing the abnormal flow of blood between the two chambers.

Your doctor will rely on two types of images to see the ASD closure device while it is being placed into the heart. A fluoroscopic image (x-ray) is used to see the metallic frame of the ASD closure device, and an ultrasound image allows the doctor to see the heart structures and blood flow.

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