How Does The New Device Work?
By using the mesh device called the Amplatzer ASD occluder, Dr. Zhang was able to
close the defect in a hospital procedure room known as the catheterization laboratory.
The Amplatzer ASD occluder, which was approved by FDA, is a two-tiered expanding
device that closes the ASD. There are different-sized devices, ranging from 4 millimeters
to 3.8 centimeters.
The cardiologist determines what size Amplatzer occluder to use by inflating a small
balloon within the defect, and measuring the indentation in the balloon created by the
defect. The Amplatzer occluder is then inserted through a catheter and placed securely
in the hole. The clamshell-like device closes the hole and then stays in the heart.
The patient receives general anesthesia, and no large incision is needed. The closure can
be performed as a semi-outpatient procedure, and the recovery time is one day. This type
of treatment is much less traumatic for patients because they are able to go home one day
after the procedure, and there is no incision or scarring.
Not every ASD can be closed this way. But for those conditions that meet the criteria for
this procedure, the technique used by Dr. Zhang dramatically simplifies the procedure
required to correct the condition while reducing the risks and recovery period for the