Patent Foramen Ovale Closure

Female black patient lying down on hospital bed while nurse is checking her heart beat with stethoscope

Overview

What is a Patent Foramen Ovale Closure?

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the wall between the left and right atria in all newborns.  The hole allows the fetus to bypass the fetal lungs that cannot work until exposed to air at birth.  At first breath, the foramen ovale closes and is sealed completely within a few months.  However, when it remains open it’s called a patent foramen ovale.  Most people with patent foramen ovale don’t have any problems and don’t even know they have it or need treatment.  A patent foramen ovale is often discovered during tests for other conditions. Your doctor may recommend closure of your PFO to treat low blood oxygen levels or if you’ve had recurrent strokes despite medical treatment.    

Why

Why is a Patent Foramen Ovale Closure Done? 

A patent foramen ovale is often discovered during tests for other conditions and can sometimes result in complications such as a stroke.   

Risks

Patent Foramen Ovale Closure Potential Risks and Complications

Complications for a patent foramen ovale closure are RARE, but you may experience the following:

  • Arrhythmia. 
  • Infection. 
  • Excess bleeding. 
  • Stroke. 
  • Blood clots. 

Prep

Preparing for a Patent Foramen Ovale Closure  

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on preparing for a patent foramen ovale closure procedure, including no food or drink after midnight prior to the procedure and medication instruction.   

What to Expect

What to Expect During a Patent Foramen Ovale Closure 

There are two procedures to close a patent foramen ovale are cardiac catheterization and robotic surgical repair.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac Catheterization

There are two procedures to close a patent foramen ovale are cardiac catheterization and robotic surgical repair.  This is what you can expect during the cardiac catheterization procedure: 

  • The procedure is usually done in a catheterization lab and will take about 2 hours.  
  • The area of the catheter insertion site will be prepared and you’ll receive anesthesia to put you a deep sleep.  
  • Your doctor will insert a catheter into the artery in your groin and thread it all the way to the patent foramen ovale. 
  • Your doctor may use X-ray images and an echocardiogram to help guide the catheter in place for the repair. 
  • A small device will then be put in place through the catheter to plug the hole in the PFO. 
  • Once the device is secure, your doctor will remove the catheter and bandage the puncture site. 

Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of your PFO repair procedure so you can make an informed decision. 

Robotic Surgical Repair

Robotic Surgical Repair

Robotic surgical repair is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed through small incisions made in the right side of your chest.  Your doctor will repair the PFO by stitching the flap-like hole shut.  The benefit of this surgical procedure are: 

  • Faster recovery and less pain. 
  • Less bleeding. 
  • Decreased risk of infection. 
  • Quicker return to normal activities. 

Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of your PFO repair procedure so you can make an informed decision. 

After the Procedure

After the Procedure

After the procedure you will spend several hours in recovery where your vitals signs will be closely monitored. You may be given medicine to prevent blood clots, as well as antibiotics and pain medication as needed.  You may have follow up tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or echocardiogram.  Once you are completely recovered you may be able to go home, but be sure to have someone drive you home.  Follow all your doctor’s instruction and schedule your follow up appointments. 

Specialists 

Patent Foramen Ovale Closure Specialists 

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 360W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 360W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 360W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2001 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 280W, Santa Monica, CA 90404

8631 West 3rd St., Suite 610E, Los Angeles, CA 90048