Ventricular Septal Defect – Small
The normal heart has four chambers. The
two top chambers receive blood from the
body and lungs. These chambers are called
the atria. The two bottom chambers pump
blood to the body and lungs. These are
called the ventricles. These chambers are
separated by walls known as the atrial
septum and ventricular septum.
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
A ventricular septal defect is the most
common congenital heart defect. A
congenital defect means that it is present at
birth. This type of defect is a hole in the
wall (septum) between the right and left
ventricles. This hole allows blood to flow
across from the left side, where the pressure
is high, to the right side, where the pressure
These defects may vary in size. They may
be present in many locations in the
ventricular wall. Rarely, a person may have
more than one of these. Small defects rarely
cause problems and have a high chance of
closing on their own.
Signs and Symptoms
A murmur caused by the blood flowing
through the defect is often heard during a
routine exam. You will be referred to a
cardiologist for further testing. A healthy
person should have no symptoms as a result
of a small ventricular septal defect.
Testing and Treatment
A member of the health care team will do a
complete exam and a health history.
An ultrasound of the heart will be done to
confirm the presence of the defect. It is also
done to find the location and size of the
defect. This is called an echocardiogram.
Regular check-ups should continue with
your regular provider. We may suggest that
they return to our Cardiology clinic at times.
This monitoring may only be as often as
every year or two. Small, muscular
ventricular defects have a good chance of
closing without surgery in the first year or
two of life.
Adults and children with small ventricular
septal defects need no restrictions. They
should keep on leading healthy, normal
Who Do I Call With Questions?
The doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can
answer any questions.
Pediatric Cardiology (608) 263-6420
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
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have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright 2/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6560