Inside Evan’s Heart

Phew….being a blogger is tough. Here is some information related explaining what complete atrioventricual septal defect is and what will happen during surgery. Instead of re-creating the wheel and using my own terms I am copying information from the CHD website which contains facts out the defect and explains the repair. Evan has been extremely blessed and did not exhibit any of the typical symptons seen in children with this defect. He has gained weight wonderfully and his pediatrician can not even hear a heart  murmur. His heart will be repaired and he will be followed by a cardiologist for the rest of his life. Can you imagine I’ll be calling him when he 30 saying “Evan, did you make your appointment? What time is it? Do you want me to go with you?”


This following information was taken from

Facts about Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD)

Graphic: Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD)


Graphic: Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD) with a normal heart


An atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) is a birth defect of the heart in which there are holes between chambers of the heart, and the valves that control the flow of blood between these chambers may not be formed correctly. This means that blood flows where it normally should not be able to, and extra blood flows to the lungs. This defect is also known as atrioventricular canal (AV canal) defect or endocardial cushion defect.

There are two general types of AVSD that can occur, depending on which structures are not formed correctly:

  1. Complete AVSD
    This occurs when there is a large opening in the center of the heart where the wall from the top of the heart (atrial septum) and the wall from the bottom of the heart (ventricular septum) would normally meet. This means there is a hole in both the atrial septum and the ventricular septum. Also, instead of blood flowing from the atria to the ventricles through a tricuspid valve on the right side of the heart and a mitral valve on the left side of the heart, there is one common valve in the middle of the heart. This valve has abnormal leaflets or flaps and often does not close tightly. These defects occur because during development, the walls between the chambers (septa) did not grow all the way into the middle of the heart, and the early common valve failed to separate into two distinct valves (tricuspid and mitral valves). A complete AVSD allows blood to flow between all four chambers through the central opening.
  2. Partial or Incomplete AVSD
    This occurs when not all the defects of a complete AVSD occurred. There is usually a hole in the wall between the atria or a hole in the wall between the ventricles near the middle of the heart, but there are usually two valves between the atria and ventricles (not a common valve). However, with a partial AVSD, one of the valves (usually the mitral valve) does not close completely and allows blood to leak backward.

In a baby without a congenital heart defect, the right side of the heart pumps oxygen-poor blood from the heart to the lungs. The left side of the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.

In babies with a partial or complete AVSD, blood is able to cross from the left side of the heart back to the right side through the holes between the chambers of the heart. This results in blood of different oxygen levels mixing. It also increases the amount of blood that is pumped to the lungs. This extra blood being pumped into the lungs forces the heart and lungs to work hard and may lead to problems in the lungs. If not repaired, the AVSD may increase the risk for other problems, including congestive heart failure.

CDC estimates that each year about 2,000 babies in the United States are born with AVSD. In other words, about 1 out of every 2,120 babies born in the United States each year is born with some type of AVSD.1


All AVSDs, both partial and complete types, usually require surgery. During surgery, any holes in the septa will be closed using patches. If the mitral valve does not close completely, it will be repaired or replaced. For a complete AVSD, the common valve is separated into two distinct valves – one on the right side and one on the left.





One thought on “Inside Evan’s Heart

  1. Zennee Johnson says:

    ‘Dont worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you…..I am The Lord your God, who holds your right hand, and I tell you, Don’t be afraid. I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:10, 13

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