Does anyone have a PFO, what treatment did you have?

Posted by tommy1957 @tommy1957, Jun 5 1:33pm

I have had two open heart surgeries, the first was botched and I had to fly out to Cleveland for the second. I also have a PFO (hole in my heart) and was wondering if anyone has that and if you were treated for it, what was the treatment and was it worth doing? Gods blessings to all

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Sorry to hear about your heart problems. I never heard of PFO, so I did some digging using an AI bot called ChatGPT. Below is what it said about FPO. I'm not a doctor, nor am I giving medical advice. Just passing along some info I hope may be of benefit to you. Hopefully others with direct experience with PFO will reply here as well:


PFO stands for Patent Foramen Ovale. It is a common congenital heart condition characterized by a small opening or flap-like hole in the septum, which is the wall that separates the left and right atria (upper chambers) of the heart. The foramen ovale is a normal structure present in fetal development that typically closes shortly after birth. However, in some individuals, the foramen ovale fails to close completely, resulting in a patent (open) foramen ovale.

In a healthy individual, the closure of the foramen ovale after birth redirects blood flow, ensuring that oxygenated blood travels from the lungs to the left side of the heart and then to the rest of the body. However, when a PFO is present, a small amount of blood can pass from the right atrium to the left atrium, bypassing the normal circulation through the lungs.

PFOs are often discovered incidentally during tests or imaging studies conducted for unrelated reasons. Most individuals with a PFO do not experience any symptoms or health problems related to the condition. However, in certain cases, a PFO can potentially allow blood clots or other substances to travel from the right side of the heart to the left side, which may increase the risk of certain medical conditions, such as:

Cryptogenic Stroke: A PFO has been associated with an increased risk of cryptogenic (of unknown cause) stroke. This occurs when a blood clot or debris passes through the PFO, travels to the brain, and blocks a blood vessel, leading to a stroke.

Migraine: Some studies suggest that individuals with a PFO and a history of migraines with aura (neurological symptoms preceding migraines) may experience an improvement in migraines after PFO closure. However, the relationship between PFO and migraines is still not fully understood.

The management of PFO depends on several factors, including the presence of associated medical conditions, symptoms, and individual patient characteristics. In certain cases, especially if there is a history of stroke or other complications, closure of the PFO may be considered to reduce the risk of future events. The decision to close a PFO is typically made on a case-by-case basis, and it requires evaluation and discussion with a cardiologist or healthcare provider experienced in managing congenital heart conditions.

It's important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis, proper evaluation, and personalized management recommendations based on your specific situation if you have concerns regarding a PFO.


I then asked what are common treatments for FPO and ChatGPT replied with the following:

The treatment options for PPFO depend on several factors, including the presence of associated medical conditions, symptoms, and individual patient characteristics. In cases where a PFO is discovered incidentally and the individual is asymptomatic, treatment may not be necessary, and regular monitoring may be recommended.

However, in certain situations where a PFO is believed to be associated with specific medical conditions or symptoms, treatment options may include:

Medical Management: This involves addressing the underlying condition or symptom that is associated with the PFO. For example, if a person has experienced a cryptogenic stroke (a stroke of unknown cause) and a PFO is present, medical management may include anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke recurrence.

Percutaneous PFO Closure: This is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional cardiologist. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted through a small incision in the groin and guided to the heart. A closure device, such as a septal occluder, is then placed over the PFO to seal it. This prevents blood from passing through the PFO. Over time, the device becomes embedded in the heart tissue. Percutaneous PFO closure is usually considered for individuals with a history of cryptogenic stroke and certain other specific indications.

It's important to note that the decision to treat a PFO is made on an individual basis after a thorough evaluation by a cardiologist or healthcare provider experienced in managing congenital heart conditions. They will consider factors such as the individual's medical history, symptoms, associated conditions, and the risks and benefits of the available treatment options.

Best of luck to you.

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