If you find out you have a congenital heart defect, or you've had surgery to correct one, you may wonder about limitations on activities and other issues.
March 07, 2017
- Exercise. Having an atrial septal defect usually doesn't restrict you from activities or exercise. If you have complications, such as arrhythmias, heart failure or pulmonary hypertension, you may not be able to do some activities or exercises. Your cardiologist can help you learn what is safe.
- Diet. A heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, can help you keep your heart healthy. Eating one or two servings of fish a week also is beneficial.
Preventing infection. Some heart defects and the repair of defects create changes to the surface of the heart in which bacteria can become stuck and grow into an infection (infective endocarditis). Atrial septal defects generally aren't associated with infective endocarditis.
But if you have other heart defects in addition to an atrial septal defect, or if you've had atrial septal defect repair within the last six months, you may need to take antibiotics before certain dental or surgical procedures.
- What are holes in heart? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/holes/. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Facts about atrial septal defect. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/atrialseptaldefect.html. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Atrial septal defect (ASD). The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/atrial_septal_defect_asd.html?qt=atrial%20septal%20defect&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- St. John Sutton MG. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of atrial septal defects in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Vick GW, et al. Classification of atrial septal defects (ASDs), and clinical features and diagnosis of isolated ASDs in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Congenital heart defects and CCHD. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/baby/congenital-heart-defects.aspx. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Connolly HM. Management of atrial septal defects in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 18, 2014.
- Connolly HM. Medical management of Eisenmenger syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014.
- St. John Sutton MG. Identification and assessment of atrial septal defects in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014.
- Vick GW, et al. Management and outcome of isolated atrial septal defects in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- The American Heart Association's diet and lifestyle recommendations. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp. Accessed Sept. 23, 2014.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Accessed July 10, 2014.
- Mankad R (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 10, 2014.