Young patient who have an unexpected stroke often have a patent foramen ovale.
Although it is not absolutely clear yet that PFO closure is better than leaving patients on aspirin longterm, intuitively it makes good sense to close a PFO in patients who have had a stroke without any underlying risk factors - the assumption being that a clot or some debris from the veins may have crossed the heart at the level of the atria (shown above) and travelled to the brain, blocking a small vessel.
PFO closure is offered as a Day-Case procedure at very low risk.
We have done over 300 PFO closures over the last 8 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