Some ASDs do not need to be treated as they are not large enough to place strain on the heart or lungs. The ASD can also be closed surgically. This requires the heart to be stopped and opened to repair it, using the heart bypass machine. The aim of the operation is to make the circulation of blood through the heart and lungs normal, so a patch is put over the hole between the atria.
The latest treatment is Device Closure: A special spring-loaded device is passed through the catheter and straddles the hole between the two heart chambers. Placing these devices is a lot easier on you than having open-heart surgery. The procedure is done in the cardiac catheterization laboratory using x-ray imaging and transoesophageal echo to guide the catheter. The procedure takes about one-hour to perform. This is not regarded as surgery, you would not have to be in intensive care afterwards, and there are no chest scars or stitches. The stay in hospital is usually overnight.