Jersey Shore offers new, non-invasive option for treating common heart defect

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Phone:(732) 776-4166

Jersey Shore offers new, non-invasive option for treating common heart defect

The Congenital Heart Disease Program at Jersey Shore University Medical Center continues to make strides in treating atrial septal defect (ASD), a common and potentially fatal congenital heart abnormality with potentially serious consequences. ASD patients can now be treated with the Amplatzer Septal Occluder - an FDA approved device providing a less invasive alternative to cardiac surgery.

"An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a common structural heart problem consisting of a hole in the wall separating the two upper chambers of the heart," explains Dawn Calderon, D.O., FACC, Chief of Cardiology & Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Center at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. ASD makes up 30% to 40% of all congenital heart disease in adults. In fetal development, the wall (septum) between the collecting chambers (atria) does not completely form, resulting in a hole. When the defect is large or fails to close, patients can become easily fatigued, have difficulty breathing, fail to grow normally, and be susceptible to colds, pneumonia and other infectious diseases. "Left untreated, the heart becomes stretched out, inefficient and prone to rhythm problems," adds Dr. Calderon.

Prior to the Amplatzer Septal Occluder, open-heart surgery had been the only treatment option for ASD, and the patient typically faced three to five days in the hospital, followed by a month of post-operative recovery at home. The Amplatzer Septal Occluder is a self-expanding device inserted through a catheter, and most patients leave the hospital within 24 hours following the one hour procedure.

Jersey Shore University Medical Center is one of the largest cardiovascular programs in New Jersey. Through Meridian CardioVascular Network, Jersey Shore offers the most complete, coordinated care from prevention and wellness programs to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease to rehabilitation and recovery.