When an atrial septal defect is found, the paediatric cardiologist or paediatric cardiothoracic surgeon will assess the defect to determine if it requires closure. In many cases, even when the defect is not causing problems, it will still be closed to prevent future complications. When patients below 25 years old undergo a procedure to close the atrial septal defect, they tend to experience less complications and a normal lifespan is expected. The atrial septal defect can either be closed through open surgery or through a catheter. In most cases, a catheter closure is sufficient. In this procedure, a flexible tube known as a catheter is inserted into the heart through an artery in the groin. A small device attached to the catheter is deployed at the defect area to plug the hole before the catheter is removed. This is a form of minimally invasive surgery that is preferred over open surgery where the patient’s chest cavity is opened up. However, in rare cases where the defect cannot be closed by the catheter device, open surgery is still required. Find out how atrial septal defect can be detected.