Young patients who have an unexpected stroke often have a patent foramen ovale. The assumption is that in many of these patients a clot or some debris from the veins may have crossed the heart at the level of the atria (shown on the left) and travelled to the brain, blocking a small vessel.
Clinical trial results have confirmed that PFO closure is better than leaving patients on aspirin - the rate recurrent stroke is lower in patients who have PFO closure.
PFO closure is offered as a Day-Case procedure at very low risk.
We have done over 800 PFO closures over the last 15 years at the Sussex Cardiac Centre, with excellent clinical results and a minimal complication rate
This image shows a patent foramen ovale closure device (FlatStent) in place, preventing passage of any clot or debris from the right atrium to the left atrium