A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a congenital heart defect, or problem with the heart’s structure that is present at birth. There are many types of congenital heart defects, and a VSD is the most common. Essentially, it is an abnormal hole in the wall that divides the two lower chambers of the heart, called the ventricles. Depending on its size, the hole can disrupt blood flow to the lungs, raising the risk of such serious problems as arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and stroke.
“First, we try to use medical management to mitigate the effects of the VSD. However, when those are unable to solve the problem, we can close the hole surgically and, sometimes, noninvasively in the catherization lab," says Katherine Kosiv, MD, a Yale Medicine pediatric cardiologist who specializes in cardiac imaging and fetal cardiology.