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South Island Heart

Private Service, Cardiology

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) occurs after birth when the foramen ovale, a hole in the wall between the left and right atria or upper chambers of the heart, fails to close completely. This occurs in approximately 25% of the population and, in most cases, does not cause any problems. Complications can arise however if blood leaking from the right atrium to the left contains a clot which may cause a stroke or heart attack.

Non surgical closure of a PFO is a procedure in which a catheter is inserted into a large vein and moved into the heart to deliver the PFO closure device to the site of the heart wall defect. The device will remain permanently in the heart and will prevent abnormal blood flow between the 2 chambers of the heart.

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This page was last updated at 1:45PM on September 3, 2021.