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Patent Foramen Ovale?
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Patent Foramen Ovale?

I have been experiencing shortness of breath, some fatigue during exercise, and a "fluttering heart" feeling for the past year and a half. After a few different tests, the doctor just diagnosed me with Patent Foramen Ovale. I'm scared! The doctor said it can be patched. Has anybody else been diagnosed with PFO? What are your experiences with it? I've always been active, and I'm curious if I will still be able to keep up an active lifestyle. Please, I'd love to hear anybody elses experience with this. THANKS!
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5 Comments Post a Comment
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61536 tn?1340701763
I know a few people here have PFOs.  Stay tuned, I'm sure they'll pop in.  Everything I've read seems quite reassuring.  I believe PFOs are fairly common.
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Avatar n tn
Hi,

I am 36 years old and I was diagnosed w a PFO last October. I had a stroke in 1995 (no residues or after effects thank God). At the time, I was taking contraceptive pills and the closure procedure that exists today did not at the time. They did see the PFO but decided to minimize the risks, got off the pill, started taking aspirin therapy. I had the most active years of my life after 30. I became a triathlete, ran half marathons, rode bike etc. NEVER had any symptoms again whatsoever. I became pregnant last May and had a miscarriage in August (not related to the PFO). I went through all kinds of tests and that is when my OBGYN decided that if I wanted to get pregnant again, having the PFO w my age was too much of a risk so we decided to close it. Went to Cleveland Clinic- dr. Tuzcu and had the procedure to close it on Oct 30th. The procedure took 1 hour 30 minutes, 3 hours later I was wide awake and talking, the next morning I was out of the hospital. Started exercising a month later. 5 months later (today) I am snowshoeing, weight training, jogging a bit and spinning. I have an appt w my doctor April 13th where they will decide if I can get off the Plavix (youre supposed to take it for 6 months after the surgery)- and start trying to get pregnant again. I feel fine, very well, it was a SCARY time for more reasons than one BUT the procedure is SUPER SAFE, fast and it has taken a weight off my back. I will post another note when I get back from the doctor appt in April- I know and hope things will be ok! good luck!!
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Avatar m tn
I have had a few incidences of syncope where I observed myself getting extremely lightheaded and my blood pressure dropped like a bomb. Nothing really unusual was going on to cause any of these episodes. They were bad the first couple times (falling on stuff and banging my head). Now if they happen I go straight to the floor and they are manageable. I was diagnosed with a PFO with right to left shunting. A small one. Cardiologist I saw at Swedish Hospital in Seattle said I should leave it alone. Closing it would be more of a hazard due to my young age (32). I am extremely paranoid that I will have a serious stroke one day. Other than that, I'm having issues with chronic prostatitis and 24/7 tension headaches I believe is cause by a pinched nerve somewhere. Also some migraine aura going on. All weird. And annoying.
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Avatar n tn
PFO is a hall in the atrial septum ,the wall that lies between the top 2 small chambers of the heart, if the wall is completty defective not fused it is called ASD( Atrial septal defect) which could be secondum or primum .
its relatively common 30% of the adult they have it and the  majority they dont know that they have it.
the effect on the patient is of course depending on multifacorial reasons
like the size of the deffect, the amount of shuntting , and the pressure and volum overload from the blood shunting.
if its big  or shuntting alot of blood and exerting  pressure overlaod or volum overload on the heart should be treated.
the treatment wil depend on the size of the hall, numbers ofthe halls if its multiple, its location and how near to the main artery and veins.
if it is small or moderate size and good rim and located at a good dsitance from the major vessls then percutaneous clouser via RT femoral vein is the best one  otherwise open surgery is the option.

the effect on the person  varies  it could be  asymptomatic, or it could  be symptomatic like shorness of breath, palpitation, dizness, syncopal attacks, migrans, it also can some times associated with crYptogenic stroke.
after  percutaneous clousre I put the patint on asprin of plavix 6months
after about 2 months with ood sealing confirmed by echo  personnally I can allow my patiet to have a normal life like excercise, and diving.

thanks
Dr A. EL-Agnaf
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Avatar f tn
Hi nathan... why would the dr say it would be more of a hazard to closse it due to ur age? Im 31 and hoping to get mine closed cause i am convinced now that all my symptoms are related to this pfo after all these yrs... did he say what would happend it were to be closed?
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