I was wondering if anyone here has a PFO? (patent foramen ovale). I recently found out that I have one and my doctor wants to do surgery to seal it. He said it increases my risk of stroke/heart attack. This is scary! Does anyone else have this or have had it corrected?


had one

by Shell - 2008-05-29 04:05:21

Doctors discovered I had a PFO after I had a stroke at 22(it was 11/19/94, exactly 1 month before my birthday.) (amazing they didn't catch it earlier because I'd been seeing cardiologists my whole life). I was in great shape, excercised, etc. They did close it in Feb. 96. The "procedure" was fairly simple. They considered me as an outpatienteven though I spent the night in the hospital I was there less than 24 hours. They went up thru my groin to do close it with a Sideris button. (I think it was new at the time.) I think I had to lounge around for a few days after but getting the pacemaker was worse. Since all that I've gotten married, had 2 kids and got my pacemaker. I would get a second opinion bur if another doctor thinks you should have it closed get as much of info as possible and ask how they are planning on closing it. Any other questions please ask.

I have a small PFO

by Dyffryn - 2008-05-29 09:05:48

Hi Lexi, I was recently diagnosed with a PFO, but my Doctor told me not to worry about it (I am 69 years old). Here is the info I was given describing what Patent Foraman Ovale is:
What is a patent foramen ovale?
A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a defect in the septum (wall) between the two upper (atrial) chambers of the heart. Specifically, the defect is an incomplete closure of the atrial septum that results in the creation of a flap or a valve-like opening in the atrial septal wall (see illustration). A PFO is frequent in everyone before birth but seals shut in about 80% of people.
When a person with this defect creates pressure inside his or her chest - such as when coughing, sneezing, or straining during a bowel movement - the flap can open, and blood can flow in either direction directly between the right and left atria. When blood moves directly from the right atrium to the left atrium, it bypasses the filtering system of the lungs. If debris, such as small blood clots, is present in the blood, it can pass through the left atrium and lodge in the brain, causing a stroke, or another organ, such as the heart, eyes, or kidneys.
What are the symptoms of a PFO?
PFOs are not uncommon and usually cause no symptoms at all. One in five people have a PFO but less than 1% have a stroke or other cause to have the PFO closed.
What causes a PFO?
A PFO is congenital, meaning it is a defect that is inborn or exists at birth. Stated another way, the defect is an abnormality, not a disease. The septum between the two atria of the heart developed normally before birth but the flap did not seal completely after birth.
Hope this helps, David.

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