KBTX - Brazos Valley Journal of Medicine - Headlines

Dr. Rocky Billhartz - Atrial Septal Defect

In today’s Brazos Valley Physicians Organization Journal of Medicine report Dr Rocky Billhartz talks about the diagnosis and treatment of holes in the heart.

"A normal heart has four chambers. There’s two at the back and two at the front. Atrial Septal Defect is a congenital heart condition, something that you are born with when you have an absence of the tissue that divides these two chambers.

This leads to enlargement of chambers, blood flow kind of moving in wrong directions in the heart, and eventually symptoms of shortness of breath or even heart failure. In Brazos Valley of about 200,000 people, eight births a year will have an Atrial Septal Defect.

Now more frequent than an Atrial Septal Defect however is something known as a PFO or Patent Foramen Ovale. A PFO is just incomplete closure of tissue that divides both of these chambers. These are defects that are able to be treated or fixed. More recently almost all of these now can be closed what we call percutaneously or minimally invasive. We can run up a little, tiny plug to the heart and use it to close these defects or these holes and therefore prevent any of the major complications that can result."

The Brazos Valley Physicians Organization is a group of independent physicians who are determined to preserve the choice and sanctity of the patient physician relationship. Our vision is that the patient always comes first.

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