A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a flap-like opening between the upper chambers of the heart. While in the uterus, this opening provides proper circulation to the baby. After birth, the foramen ovale should close. When it doesn't, there can be a risk of blood clots or stroke.
The percutaneous closure of a PFO is performed using a special closure device. The device is attached onto a special catheter, similar to the catheter used during the catheterization. The special catheter is inserted into a vein in the leg and advanced into the heart and through the hole.
The device is slowly pushed out of the special catheter allowing each side of the device to open up and cover each side of the hole, like a sandwich, closing the hole or defect. When the device is in proper position, it is released from the special catheter.
Over time, heart tissue grows over the implant, becoming part of the heart. The PFO closure procedure is monitored by X-ray and ultrasound.
For more specific, detailed information regarding this or any other cardiac procedure, please call the Cardiac Cath Lab at (608)775-2233 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 52233, Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.