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Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure services offered in Zephyrhills, Lakeland, Plant City and Riverview, FL

One in four people have a patent foramen ovale (PFO) and never know about it because it doesn’t cause problems. But for some, a PFO leads to blood clots, and that’s when they need a patent foramen ovale closure performed by the exceptional team at Florida Heart, Vein and Vascular Institute. Although a PFO is a hole inside your heart, the condition is more likely to cause kidney disease or a stroke. Call the office in Zephyrhills, Lakeland, Wesley Chapel, Plant City, or Riverview, Florida, to learn more or schedule an appointment online for a diagnostic heart exam.

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure Q&A

When would I need patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure?

Patent foramen ovale, or PFO, is a small opening between the heart’s upper chambers (the left and right atria). In a healthy heart, a thin tissue separates the chambers, preventing blood from flowing between them.

A PFO lets blood travel between the chambers, allowing any blood clots in the right side to travel into the left side and, from there, out to your body.

The clot may block blood vessels anywhere in your body, but the consequences are especially dangerous if it stops blood flow in your brain or kidneys.

Though it’s rare, a PFO may let a large amount of blood flow into the left side. As a result, the blood bypasses your lungs, and your heart pumps oxygen-depleted blood to your body instead of oxygen-rich blood.

Everyone is born with a PFO because it enables circulation in the fetus. The opening should close naturally, but that doesn’t always happen. Adults can end up needing a minimally invasive procedure to close the opening.

Will I have symptoms with a patent foramen ovale?

A patent foramen ovale alone doesn’t cause symptoms. You’ll only have signs if a clot blocks one of your blood vessels. For example, you may have a stroke if the clot gets into an artery serving your brain. Or you’ll develop signs of kidney disease (itchy skin, swollen feet, and frequent trips to the bathroom) if the clot affects essential blood vessels in your kidneys.

PFOs are often detected when patients need an echocardiogram for heart symptoms unrelated to the PFO or an MRI to diagnose another health problem.

What happens during a patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure?

Your Florida Heart, Vein and Vascular Institute provider performs a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure to close the hole. They insert a long, narrow catheter into a blood vessel in your groin, guide it to your heart, and position it near the PFO. Then, they release a tiny device from the catheter and secure it in the opening, effectively blocking the hole.

For most patients, closing the PFO is an outpatient procedure, so you go home the same day and can return to your daily routine (except for avoiding strenuous activities).

Call Florida Heart, Vein and Vascular Institute or use the online booking feature today to schedule an appointment and learn if your symptoms are caused by PFO.