The heart itself requires blood to work properly just like any other organ in the body. The heart muscle is fed with blood by the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries originate from the aorta just above the takeoff from the heart itself.

The aortic valve connects the left ventricle to the aorta. As the ventricle starts to contract to pump blood to the body, pressure builds. This increase in pressure causes the aortic valve to open, allowing blood to pass from the left ventricle into the aorta. As the heart then starts to relax, pressure falls and the valve closes. Aortic valve insufficiency refers to leakage of blood backwards from the aorta into left ventricle because of inadequate or incomplete closure of the aortic valve.

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the atrial septum, the upper wall of the heart separating the right and left atria. An ASD is a congenital heart defect, in other words, a birth defect of the heart. Congenital heart defects are the most common form of birth defects, occurring in approximately 1 per 150 individuals. An ASD is one of the more common congenital heart defects; the overall incidence is 2-3 per 1000. An ASD forms when the upper wall fails to properly close in the womb, leaving a hole.

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the atrial septum, the upper wall of the heart separating the right and left atria. Intervention is occasionally necessary to close an ASD. This most commonly occurs in the setting of a large or moderate size defect. The most common indication for intervention is the presence of dilation of heart chambers, specifically the right ventricle, due to long-standing excess blood flow. Typically intervention is performed between 2 and 5 years of age, although it can easily be accomplished earlier if necessary.