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Ventricular Septal Defect

Ventricular septal defect (also called VSD) is a common congenital heart defect. Found most often with babies, these defects are commonly called “holes of the heart”, and can be seen in the heart wall between the right and left ventricles. Smaller ventricular septal defects often close on their own or don't cause problems. Others need surgical repair, sometimes not until the condition is first detected or symptoms first develop in adulthood. Many people with ventricular septal defects have normal, productive lives with few related problems.

What are the symptoms of ventricular septal defect?

Symptoms in babies can include:

  • A bluish tint to the skin, lips and fingernails
  • Poor eating, failure to thrive
  • Fast breathing or breathlessness
  • Easy tiring
  • Swelling of legs, feet or abdomen
  • Rapid heart rate

Adults with ventricular septal defects may not have symptoms, however the most common symptoms when they do appear include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fast breathing
  • Hard breathing
  • Paleness
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Fast heart rate
  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating while feeding
  • Frequent respiratory infections