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Hole in the Heart: What Happens Next?

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 17 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
Heart Disease Hole In The Heart Chambers

Q.I am 28 years of age and female. Today I had a 'Bubble Study' test which has confirmed a hole in my heart. I didn't see the specialist today, as they are waiting for all my test results before my next appt, (I had the works today!).

I heard them mention a patch when they had completed the test, but am unsure as to whether this means I am probably going to require surgery. I know I should wait to speak to my specialist, but I'm obviously a little shocked to find something wrong, and wondering what to expect now?

(V.M, 26 June 2009)


It is actually not that uncommon for adults to be diagnosed with a hole in the heart. The condition is a type of congenital heart disease – so you have had this from birth – and it must be a very small hole as you have reached the age of 28 without it being detected. Similar holes have been diagnosed in people of 80!

Small holes in the heart usually occur in the septum between the two atria, the upper, smaller chambers of the heart. This is where the hole is in all our hearts during the time we are growing in our mother’s uterus. The circulation in a growing baby comes from the umbilical cord and through the heart in a completely different way to normal post-birth circulation. In most babies, the circulation re-routes at birth and the hole closes up. In some children, the hole remains open, and these babies have to have surgery to correct the problem quite quickly. In others, and you probably fall into this category, the hole closes up but leaves a tiny hole still there. This can go undetected until well into adulthood.

It is a shame that the medical team could not discuss the implications of your test with you on the day, having told you that the hole was definitely there. I hope that you can arrange to see them soon as this will put your mind at rest about the course of treatment you might need.

It may be that you don’t need any treatment. It depends on how large the hole is and whether it is causing you any problems. If you have been feeling unwell, and that was the reason for the tests in the first place, it is good that the problem has been identified. If you do need treatment, it may be surgery, or it may not. Patches to close holes in the heart can be inserted in a less invasive procedure in which the instruments are guided to the heart through the blood vessels – in a similar way to balloon angioplasty procedures. If you are feeling fine, there is a very good chance that you may be monitored but no treatment will be required.

Try to get an early appointment to find out what is going to happen in your case but try not to worry in the meantime.

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I was told I was born with a hole in my heart and the hospital gave my mom this paper that said VSD, but we right away moved to Florida and they said to do check ups, but my mom never did it. Im 17 now and don’t feel anything. I exercise and don’t feel any different, I’m positive its closed. Should I schedule an appointment either way to ease my moms concerns?
Yuri - 9-Jul-19 @ 6:41 AM
I also have a hole in heart there is 2 hole dr.say that there no treatment bcoz hole is too big I'm always tnsn for my health I'm feeling uncomfortable in my heart I'm always sad My parents also worried about me I'm a 18 year old Plzz tell me heart hole possible in 18 year old treatment plzz tell me about my hole prblm
Ritu - 8-Jul-19 @ 5:02 PM
Hi doctor I am here to concern about my mom she is 70 years old and now we find out she had a hole in her heart doctor said that we are very worried about why we know after long time is surgery really necessary to her or she can take medicine please explain wat we do
Kiran - 18-Apr-19 @ 2:53 PM
A hole in my heart and its size is 30 mm..plzz suggest me how can i handle it, i am 36 years old
Hima - 17-Apr-19 @ 2:36 PM
Hey.... my boyfriend just told me yesterday that he has a hole in he's heart seen he's birth.... he discovered it on he's 18 birthday.... he's 19 now... I wanted to know if it's possible to fix it... is it possible to close the hole please I dont wanna lose him .... I can't ????????????
Blessing - 3-Dec-18 @ 6:32 AM
Hi is it safe to have a heart surgery ?because my heart has a hole ??and I’m scared the doctor said they will do operation is that safe?im 29 years old now but I feel normal and I’m also working but the doctor said the hole in my heart is big it must be surgery ?
Ghie - 23-Nov-18 @ 9:26 PM
I'm 59 and had a stroke, that is when they discovered I have a hole in my heart. Should I have high concerns bout it
Vicky - 2-Oct-18 @ 6:03 AM
Hello sir plz tell me heart hole possible in 18 year old treatment in medicine m treatment in mumbai plz tell me some details ihad a food in without sugr and salt doctor take me a biskit & medicine
Mariya - 19-Aug-18 @ 5:37 PM
Hello sir.... Does heart can have 2"holes....bcz i had hole in my heart when i was in school.... And I got open heart surgery.....But now i am 20 years old and scared that can i get holes in my heart again or can that older heart hole reopens...... Does it possible..
Roi - 9-Aug-18 @ 2:43 PM
Akki - Your Question:
Sir. I had hole in my heart when I m 9 years and it's repaired by doing open heart surgery.my question is that I had smoked cigarettes when I was at college about 3months. Now I quite smoking. But I m scared. Does that smoking. Cause any problems to my heart or the patch on my heart. I m scared now. Does the hole reopens. Again. In my heart. Now I m 19 years old

Our Response:
We've answered your question, please see the comment below
CardiacMatters - 6-Aug-18 @ 10:29 AM
Sir... I had hole in my heart when i m 9 years and it's repaired by doing open heart surgery...my question is that i had smoked cigarettes when i was at college about 3months.... Now i quite smoking.... But i m scared.... Does that smoking.... Cause any problems to my heart or the patch on my heart..... I m scared now..... Does the hole reopens..... Again... In my heart... Now i m 19 years old
Akki - 3-Aug-18 @ 12:54 PM
Akshay- Your Question:
I had open heart surgery. When I was 9 years old. I had hole in my heart. They said that operation was successful. Bt Now I m scared. Now I m 19 years old. That can I get back that hole back in my heart. Because sometimes I fell like feeling uncomfortable in my heart. Or my heart is murmuring. Can heart hole will be back after operation alsoo.

Our Response:
Once a hole in the heart is repaired it's unlikely to cause further issues but your GP or consultant will certainly tell you more than we can...go and see them!
CardiacMatters - 31-Jul-18 @ 2:29 PM
I had open heart surgery..... When i was 9 years old... I had hole in my heart.... They said that operation was successful.... Bt Now i m scared.... Now i m 19 years old.... That can i get back that hole back inmy heart.... Because sometimes i fell like feeling uncomfortable in my heart.... Or my heart is murmuring..... Can heart hole will be back after operation alsoo....
Akshay - 30-Jul-18 @ 4:25 PM
Hello I have a hole in heart along with the single ventricle recently my doctor said the whole is too big and now we can't fix you are too late the only thing we can do is to give me medicines for symptoms I don't know what to do because they are not Jobs or even the study is not complete because of this problem and currently feeling not very good after hearing they can't do anything and telling me not to marry anyone which is not a problem but it's more like you don't have a future and can I die on this really don't know what to do their job and now doctors are telling they can't do anything is just not to hard to accept
Dharmvir - 29-Jul-18 @ 4:31 PM
My friend Satish is being operated today for a hole in his heart. He lived his life knowing he would not live long up to 25. I hope he will do OK after the operation and can have a future and he can hope to live a full happy life.
Madhu - 5-Jul-18 @ 4:23 PM
Santosh - Your Question:
Iam 34 years old. I have 20mm hole in my heart. Doctors said they can’t do anything what is the solution. Can you tell me please.

Our Response:
We can't give individual medical advice we're sorry.
CardiacMatters - 5-Jul-18 @ 2:45 PM
Iam 34 years old. I have 20mm hole in my heart. Doctors said they can’t do anything what is the solution. Can you tell me please.
Santosh - 2-Jul-18 @ 3:54 PM
my boyfriend has a whole in his heart and he is asthmatic he is 34 years old can his hole be treated and heal without undergoing any surgery?
jiddah - 14-Jun-18 @ 12:10 AM
My friend is 19years old and he have hole in his heart it's about 1mm and he know about that since 1year what we can do for him Dr of India said the last option was heart transplant..is there is any option accept this option... If there is plz help me
Mannu - 20-May-18 @ 8:34 PM
I am 35 yrs..& 17 mm hole in heart... What is the treatment except surgery
S.P. - 23-Apr-18 @ 7:45 PM
i have a girl friend she is 18 old she have hole in heart but thank god she still healthy i realy love him and i want to marry she wants tow any banifit thi problemwith this deasees please tell me
-------- - 19-Mar-18 @ 9:15 AM
I am 10 and I was born with more than one hole in my heart. When I am too active I get pain where my heart is, and when I was a baby my heart rate was sometimes to low and sometimes to high. My mom said it was scary for her because I had to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks instead of 2 days. It sucks.
MEBTheKitty - 10-Feb-18 @ 8:00 AM
I Mother63 years old.found a Hole in my Mother Heart. what is the best treatment for my Mother? Please Guide me
U Nayak - 31-Dec-17 @ 1:42 PM
My daughter just found out she has a hole at age 18. Numerous ED visits over past 4 years with symptoms.Could the hole gotten larger or come later in life?Why couldn't ED doctors hear what cardiologist heard right away?
Concerned Mom - 26-Dec-17 @ 6:28 AM
Respected Sir, I am 18 years old at present, in this month I got to know that I've a hole in the heart(ASD).i know that holes in heart are congenital and are usually recognised at the time of birth. BUT in my case, I do not have any symptom that makes me feel that I have hole.And moreover how is it possible that after 18 years this hole is being recognised suddenly from no where else... Is it possible that they can be created intermediate? ... Other than the time of birth?
Unknown - 16-Dec-17 @ 5:40 PM
hi im a 47 year old male i suffered a stroke last august which has left me with slight left side weakness. after many MRI and ultra scans i was given a BUBBLE GRAPH back in November 2016 at the time i was told by the cardiologist consultant who carried out the test if i was her patient she would operate asap, but was told to wait for my consultant In December i received a letter from my hospital confirming that it was URGENT for me to see a specialist, i had to chase up the hospital and my GP to be told an appointment will be made as soon as they can i have now got myappointment for June 1st 2017 ( thats what they call URGENT) does anyone know what treatment or fix they do as this has been playing on my mind for sometime now and as its finally getting closer a large piece of me is getting slightly nervous. THANKS
donkey - 17-May-17 @ 8:08 PM
I have had 3 aortic valve surgeries first one at 27, 31 and 48. Now they think there's a hole in heart, what would that hole be and caused from.
Sandy - 16-May-17 @ 10:21 PM
Hlooo dr. plzz help me In my heart a small hole my age is 16 now
kajal - 20-Apr-17 @ 10:10 AM
I have a hole in my heart my age is 19 years plz give me suggestion that it will cure by med or by surgery
Mrs woww - 12-Apr-17 @ 12:57 PM
poonam - Your Question:
I am 52 yrs old. I have 38 mm hall in my heart. Left to right side asd. Doctar told us to do open heart surgery and he said that its very risky. Pls tell me what should I do or which hospital is best for open heart hall surgery I am from delhi.

Our Response:
Sorry we can't give individual medical advice or opinion such as this.
CardiacMatters - 31-Mar-17 @ 11:44 AM
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