Depending on the time of your procedure, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
You’ll be asked to arrive up to 3 hours before you scheduled procedure time. You may get blood drawn and an IV line placed in your arm so you can start getting fluids to protect kidney function. You may have an EKG or chest X-ray done. Staff will likely clip or shave some of your body hair in the area the doctor will be working on.
An ASD closure procedure usually takes an hour, but you should plan to stay overnight. You’ll be taken into the cath lab, where you’ll lie on a narrow table, with safety straps to keep you in place. Then EKG patches will be attached to your chest to check your heartbeat during the procedure.
You may be put under for this procedure, so you will be asleep. A tube will be placed down your throat so your doctor can use a machine called a transesophageal echo to take pictures of your heart. X-rays will also be taken, and your doctor will be able to see these images on a several TV monitors hung above the procedure table. After numbing your groin, your doctor will place a sheath, like a long IV needle, into the vein in your leg.
Next, a catheter is inserted through the sheath, moved up to the atrial septum in the heart, and pushed through the ASD hole. When the catheter is in the right position, the device is slowly pushed out of the catheter until a small disc sits on each side of the defect, like a sandwich. The discs are filled with polyester fabric to increase the device’s closing ability.