Pediatrics Heart



Septal Defects

Superior Repair of Atrial and Ventricular Septal Defects

Septal defects are congenital heart disorders that affect the walls dividing the various chambers of the heart. Children with an atrial septal defect (ASD) have a hole between the upper chambers of the heart (atria). With a ventricular septal defect (VSD), there is a hole in the wall (ventricular septum) that separates the two lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. NewYork-Presbyterian's pediatric heart specialists are renowned for their expertise in the care of children with congenital heart disorders, including ASD and VSD. Our Congenital Heart Center is one of the largest and most preeminent pediatric heart centers in the nation.

  • Nationally Ranked: U.S.News & World Report has ranked our pediatric hospitals among the top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country, reflecting our reputation and excellent surgical outcomes, the expertise of our surgical teams, our high volume of cases, and other data related to patient care.
  • Minimally Invasive Treatment for Atrial Septal Defects: If your child has an ASD, our interventional cardiologists may be able to repair it percutaneously (through the skin) in the catheterization lab, without the need for surgery. If your child's ASD involves a larger hole or the hole is in a part of the heart that makes it challenging to close with a device, our pediatric heart surgeons have the experience to perform these operations in children of all ages.
  • Superior Surgical Skills for Ventricular Septal Defects: Most children with VSD need heart surgery. Our pediatric heart surgeons use minimally invasive cardiac surgery and hybrid surgery (a combination of catheter-based approaches and open heart surgery) to treat VSD. Typically, surgeons close such holes in the heart by suturing a patch on the hole during open heart surgery. But certain holes are difficult to access with open heart procedures, or there may be multiple holes that cannot be closed in a single operation. Hybrid techniques allow us to enter through the chest, deliver a device to close holes, and prevent the need for multiple surgeries. For the many patients with VSDs who still need traditional open heart surgery for repair, we have developed special instruments that allow us to make these repairs using much smaller incisions, resulting in a better cosmetic outcome.
  • High Volumes and Exceptional Outcomes: Our pediatric heart team repairs a high volume of septal defects with extraordinary outcomes. From 2009 through 2012, we repaired 181 ASD and 161 VSD. The overall hospital discharge mortality rate was 0 percent for ASD (versus the 1 percent Society of Thoracic Surgeons national benchmark) and 0 percent for VSD (versus the 0.8 percent STS national benchmark).
  • Specialized Surgery for Atrioventricular Canal Defects: Atrioventricular (AV) canal defects are complicated lesions where the center of the septum (the wall that separates the left and right sides of the heart) is missing. The mitral valve and tricuspid valve are fused in this malformation and are extremely abnormal. Surgery to repair an AV canal defect requires highly specialized and technical expertise, such as that found at the NewYork-Presbyterian Congenital Heart Center. As with other complex heart defects, the more often surgeons do these procedures, the better the results. Our surgeons performed 107 AV canal surgeries between 2009 and 2012, with a 0 percent overall hospital discharge mortality rate (versus the 2.8 percent STS national benchmark).

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NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

212-305-8509 Cardiology

877-843-2229 Thain Center for Prenatal Pediatrics: 877-THE-BABY

NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital

212-746-3561 Cardiology

212-746-3530 Fetal Care Center