Get answers to your Pediatric Surgery questions.
Atrioventricular (AV) canal defect; Atrioventricular septal defect; AVSD
Surgery is needed to close the holes between the heart chambers, and to separate the common valve into distinct tricuspid and mitral valves. The timing of the surgery depends on the child's condition and the severity of the ECD. It can usually be done when the baby is 3 - 6 months old. Correcting an ECD may require more than one surgery.
Your doctor may prescribe medication before surgery if the ECD has made your baby very sick. The medicines will help the child gain weight and strength before surgery. Medications may include:
Surgery for a complete ECD should be done as early in the baby's first year of life as possible, before irreversible lung damage occurs. Babies with Down syndrome tend to develop lung disease earlier, and therefore early surgery is very important for these babies.
Complications from ECD may include:
Certain complications of ECD surgery may not appear until the child is an adult. These include heart rhythm problems and a leaky mitral valve.
Children with congenital heart disease may need to take antibiotics before dental treatment. This helps prevent complications related to heart infections. Ask a cardiologist whether your child needs to take antibiotics.
Park MK. Pediatric Cardiology for Practitioners, 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:181-189:chap 12.
Townsend Jr. CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, et al. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:1760-1762.
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