• What are the Risks of PFO Closure with a Device?

    6/14/2017

    The medical procedure to close a PFO using a device is minimally invasive, meaning it has far less of an impact on the body than surgery would have. It will not leave a scar, nor will it require extensive cardiac rehabilitation, as might be expected of someone who had undergone open heart surgery, for example. At the same time, however, it is important to remember it is still a medical procedure involving the heart; therefore, your doctor will want to make sure you are not at risk for any ill effects.

    Complications from a PFO closure and side effects may include atrial fibrillation, an ischemic stroke as a result of the procedure, bleeding from the site where the device is guided into the body, blood clots in the leg or lung, injury to the heart, or embolization of the device (note that while these complications may sound alarming, they are very rare).

    The procedure is performed in a hospital, and you will be kept for observation and recovery usually overnight. Once your doctor is satisfied with your condition, and feels you are in good enough health, you will be able to go home.

    While PFO closure is a significant step for you as a patient, it is a well-established method of treatment. You will likely have many questions and concerns about your procedure, and you should feel free to ask your doctor about them in advance. After all, the more you know about the procedure and how it helps, the more comfortable you will be having it – and the better you will understand how it works. Remember, though, there about 700,000 ischemic stroke occurrences per year, and many of these do have identifiable causes; therefore, there may be multiple ways to reduce your risk of a second stroke.

    A full list of risk information can be found here.