Closure of Atrial Septal Defect

What is it?

An atrial septal defect is a type of “hole in the heart”, which, when present, is usually present from birth. This procedure attempts to close the hole by using an implanted device to occlude it.

The procedure involves the insertion of a long thin catheter into a vein in the groin under general anaesthetic. The catheter is moved up the inside of the vein until it reaches the heart. When the catheter is in place, a small device is placed across the defect in the heart under ultrasound and/or xray guidance. The device is then deployed, closing the defect.


  • You will need to fast for 6 hours prior to the procedure.
  • Hospital admission is required and is generally at least an overnight stay.
  • Blood thinning medication will be required for a period after the procedure (determined by your cardiologist).
  • Take all of your usual medications unless instructed otherwise by your cardiologist.
  • You may not drive after the procedure and are also not allowed to be alone that evening.


Your doctor will inform you of the results at the end of the procedure. A follow up appointment will more than likely be organized a couple of weeks later in the consulting rooms.

If you are a patient undergoing this procedure and you have any further queries, please raise them with your cardiologist.

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