It's a fairly common heart defect and about one in every 15 people have it. An Atrial Septal Defect is a hole between two of the heart's chambers. It used to be, many children with ASD's had to undergo open heart surgery. But now, there's a technique that's changing that.
The procedure closes the holes in the heart without surgery. Using a long tube catheter, doctors push a device called the Septal Occludar System up through a vein in the leg.
When the end of the catheter's over the hole, it's slowly pulled tight. Two connected discs come out of the tube, and sandwich the hole, squeezing it shut.
Within three to six months, the body grows its own tissue over the discs as if the holes were never there.