Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair in Israel

About Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall (septum) between the upper two chambers of the heart, known as atria. It is a congenital defect, that is, the defect is present at the time of the birth.

Some ASDs are extremely small and never cause any trouble. Some may close on their own during infancy or early years after the birth. However, for symptomatic ASDs, people may need treatment during their childhood or adulthood, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

ASDs may also go unnoticed or undiagnosed. However, symptoms such as breathlessness, swelling in the legs, heart palpitations, and heart murmurs can be a sign of ASD. Therefore, it must be repaired then and there.

How is Atrial Septal Defect Treated?

Atrial septal defects are repaired or treated through following two approaches. The ASD repair cost depends on which of these approaches are applied.

  • Transcatheter ASD Repair: This is a minimally invasive procedure, which is performed in a catheterization lab. In this approach, a catheter is passed from a blood vessel in the arm or groin area to reach the site of the defect. The mesh is placed on top of the defect to close it. After securing the mesh, the catheter is withdrawn.
  • Surgical ASD Repair: This approach is more common as compared to the transcatheter repair. In this case, the surgeon makes an incision in the chest to access the defect and place a patch to cover the hole. Before the surgery, the patient is put on a heart-lung bypass machine so that the surgeon can repair it.

The success rate of both approaches is more than 98 percent. However, transcatheter ASD repair has been associated with quicker recovery.

Factors Affecting the Cost of ASD Repair Surgery Cost

The following factors affect the Atrial Septal Defect repair cost:

  • The approach used for the repair
  • Size of the defect
  • Experience of the specialist
  • Choice of hospital or clinic
  • Location of the hospital or clinic
  • Age of the patient
  • Presence of other comorbidities
  • Duration of hospital stay
  • Other hospital charges
  • Unforeseen circumstances
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About the Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair

Holes in the heart are a type of congenital heart disease. Ventricular septal defect (VSD) and atrial septal defect (ASD) are the two most common congenital defects that may affect an individual. These occur due to structural malformation in the walls of the heart when these are developing at the fetal stage. ASD and VSD can be repaired and closed as soon as they are identified or right after birth. ASD is the hole in the septa that divides the two atrium and VSD refers to the hole in the ventricular walls. The holes allow the reverse flow of blood, thus, facilitating the mixing of pure and impure blood.

  • To understand the holes in heart we must briefly understand the working of the heart. The heart works like a pump beating on an average of 100,000 times in a day. It has two sides which are divided by a wall called septum. The right side of the valve pumps blood to the lungs and picks up oxygen. The oxygen-rich blood then returns to the left side of the heart from the lungs and then the left side pumps it to the rest of the body.
  • These two sides are divided into 4 chambers having four valves connecting them to various blood vessels. For carrying blood from the body to the heart, veins are responsible while arteries carry the blood away from the heart to be circulated to the body. The atria are two upper chambers that collect blood while ventricles are the two lower chambers pumping the blood to the lungs and other parts of the body.
  • The valves act like doors allowing a flow of blood through the next chamber to arteries and then they close to keep the blood from again returning back to the previous chamber from where it came. In a systolic contraction, the ventricles pump blood from the heart and in a diastolic contraction, the ventricles relax to receive blood pumped by the atria. The aortic and pulmonary valves close at the beginning of the diastole to prevent the chances of backflow. Thus, the presence of a hole in the septa may lead to mixing of the blood and interfere with the normal flow of blood circulation in the body.
  • An ASD is naturally present when the baby is still a fetus. But the hole closes on its own by the time of birth. However, in some cases, it may persist even after birth. An ASD can be of different types, including sinus venosus atrial septal defect, mixed atrial septal defect, ostium secundum atrial septal defect. A VSD, on the other hand, is usually detected in a baby or in an adult when a doctor observes a heart murmur. Certain tests such as an echocardiogram or electrocardiogram are performed to confirm its presence.

Typically, medications are administered to see whether ASD or VSD closes on its own. In case the defect does not close on its own and the individual continues to experience atrial septal defect symptoms such as breathing difficulties, heart murmurs, shortness of breath, and respiratory infections, then a surgery is recommended. The surgical procedure for atrial septal defect repair and ventricular septal defect treatment are almost the same, except the fact that different parts of the heart are targeted during the surgery.

How is Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair performed?

Two different types of approaches can be used for ASD and VSD repair or closure, depending on the experience of the surgeon, the overall health of the patient, and certain other factors. The first is open-heart surgery and the second one is cardiac catheterization. Irrespective of the approach used, the patient is administered a general anesthetic so that he or she does not feel any pain and is asleep during the procedure.

Open heart surgery:

The main surgical approach used to repair or close ASD or VSD is open-heart surgery. It is conducted by making an incision in the chest and using surgical instruments to open the chest to gain access to the heart. The heart is then put on bypass, which involves connecting it to a machine that pumps blood to the body during the surgery. For the same reason, it is also known as the heart-lung bypass machine. The surgeon then repairs the hole by closing it with sutures or by placing a biological patch on it that mixes with the muscle. Once the hole is repaired, the chest is then closed and the incision site is closed with sutures.

Cardiac catheterization:

It is a minimally invasive procedure conducted using a catheter, which is inserted into the blood vessel of the groin. The catheter is then guided up to the heart and mesh material is placed over the hole through the catheter to close the defect. Once the repair is made, the catheter is removed.

Within a period of 6 months, normal tissues start growing in and around the mesh. Only a needle puncture is made in this procedure and hence this is less invasive as a procedure. This procedure is usually successful until and unless the hole is too large and only an open surgery can solve the problem.

Recovery from Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair

Recovery from ASD/VSD Surgical procedure

The patient will be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) for a day or so for continuous monitoring. Antibiotics will be administered to the patient to prevent infections such as endocarditis. Regular checkups will follow for a while to ensure that the hole gets closed properly. To prevent the formation of blood clots, the patient may be given aspirin. Apart from all these, for the first few months, activities will be kept limited till that patient is fit enough to handle physical exertion.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of Israel / Why should opt for Israel as a destination for your medical treatment?
Israel is one of the most developed countries in the world which has been rightly praised for the healthcare benefits it offers. Unlike historical times, Israel has upgraded and advanced itself to keep at par with the progression in the medical field and has thus been capable of providing the best of the best benefits to not only the native citizens but for tourists from all across the world. The reason why thousands of people prefer Israel over other countries is because of the high affordability of the medical facilities. The healthcare benefits of the hospitals and the clinics are competent with the major countries which means their services are uncompromised even though the packages can be availed at approximately 65% affordable rates.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Israel? Are they JCI certified. What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
Even though Israel is counted among one of the most affordable countries for medical treatments, the country houses best hospitals and clinics, which are teamed yo with professional physicians and surgeons as well as advanced medical equipment. Due to the quality of the treatment available, a number of hospitals and clinics in Israel have earned due JCI certification. Hence, some of the most popular hospitals in Israel which have attained JCI certification are:
  • Sheba Medical Center
  • Sourasky Medical Center
  • Rabin Medical Center
  • Rambam Medical Center
  • Assuta Hospital

Not only the doctors, the hospitals in Israel follow a strict protocol while selecting medical staffs, which is why, the quality of even the support staffs remain incomparable. The support staffs are also trained to handle emergency situations as well as critical cases with umpteenth care so as to ensure complete healthcare to the candidate undergoing minor to major procedures.

Are the doctors/surgeons in Israel of the best quality?
The doctors and surgeons in Israel are globally recognized for their excellent skills which has also garnered them with awards from reputed medical universities. A high number of complex and terminal cases have been successfully treated by the medical professionals working in the country. More than the progressing technology, the doctors are accredited for the impressive treatments in the United States of America, which is why, every year the USA records some of the highest number of medical tourists from various corners of the world.
What is the process for obtaining medical visa in Israel?
Visas for medical reasons are arranged by the sponsors directly through the government portal. However, the candidate should go through the procedure listed on the government portal so as to keep the documents and necessary photocopies, to be submitted, ready. In some cases, the candidate may also have to obtain a fresh permit from the Embassy mentioning the details and attaching the requirements to be followed. However, the documents needed for obtaining medical visa are:
  • Confirmation page of successfully filled visa application form
  • Visa fee paid and a photocopy of the receipt obtained for the same
  • Two passport size recent photographs not older than six months
  • Birth certificate, residential proof, employment proof, if any.
  • Civil status proof of the candidate
  • Minors require to provide signed consent of the parents or the guardians responsible
  • Medical certificate signed by the treating medical professional, mentioning clearly the cause of travel
  • Acceptance letter by the doctor being referred to, also stating the estimated time of stay required.
What support services does MediGence provide in Israel?
MediGence ensures a hassle-free medical travelling experience in Israel. Right from the beginning of the journey to the end, MediGence assists the candidates and the family with utmost care thereby making the stay as comfortable as it can be. Hence, here is a list of services provided for candidate satisfaction:
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodation Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
Which are the best cities in Israel for medical treatment?
Israel is brimming with historic cities that have graced mankind with beautiful architecture. However, the country has also upgraded itself in terms of medical facilities. This, some of the best cities in Israel which are ideal for availing medical treatment are:
  • Ramat Gan
  • Beer Sheva
  • Tel Aviv
  • Haifa

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