How common is a patent foramen ovale?

Common. All infants have a patent foramen ovale (pfo) as a fetus. This allows the fetal circulation to flow. Once born the pfo will close as the concentratiojn of oxygen in the blood rises. In a small percentage of infants the pfo may persist. Figures on this occurrence vary from 10-15%. Rarely is any treatment required unless the blood flow is severely affected. Most close within 1-2 years of birth.

Related Questions

Whats a patent foramen ovale?

Small heart opening. It is an opening in the wall between the upper chambers of the heart that allows blood from the placenta to get to where it needs to go during fetal life. All babies are born with this. It usually closes after birth, but 20% of all adults still have this. It is normal, though it has been associated with stroke, migraine headach, and decompression illness in scuba divers. Read more...
Hole in the heart. Patent foramen ovale is a opening between the atria (upper chambers ) of the heart. It allows blood to traverse the atria when a fetus. After birth the pfo closes to establish normal post natal circulation. Read more...

What is a patent foramen ovale?

A hole in the heart. A patent foramen ovale (pfo) is a necessary hole between two upper chambers of the heart. This hole allows fetal blood circulation to occurr. Once the baby is born, circulation changes, the hole closes to allow normal post natal human circulatuin pathway. It remains open in a small number of patients and is usually asymptomatic. Read more...

When do you close a patent foramen ovale?

If having symptoms. Condition very common. Usually closure only if having symptoms especially symptoms of stroke or what is called TIA which is a lack of oxygen to the brain. This would mean the defect is causing clots. Probably not even closure then if you can take blood thinners. If there is some reason blood thinners cannot be taken then that is when closure done. New methods do not require opening chest. Drj. Read more...
Significant symptoms. Patients need to have experienced recurrent neurologic events despite warfarin anticoagulation or have a significant shunt causing heart failure symptoms. Read more...
Infrequently. At this point in time, there is no guideline-recommended indication for closure. There are currently clinical trials exploring this issue, and patients could be enrolled in these trials. But otherwise it is not an approved procedure anymore. Read more...
Symptoms. When the patent for amen ovale causes symptoms of respiratory effort, shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance, etc. Read more...

How do you repair a patent? Foramen ovale?

Surgery. Most patent foramen ovales (pfo) do not have to be repaired. However if repair is indicated due to failure or respiratory issues, it would require open median sternotomy and probably 5-6 days in the hospital. This of course depends on the age of the patient. Read more...

Can I excercise if I have a patent foramen ovale?

Yes. This is a relatively normal finding in people & seldom if ever limits their activities in any way. Have a discussion with the physician who knows all your other issues well before you embark on any exercise program. Other issues are likely much more important than a pfo to influence any exercise risk. Read more...
Yes. The majority of patients with a patent foramen ovale are asymptomatic and do not even know they have a pfo and live normal healthy lives. Read more...

How serious a condition is a patent foramen ovale?

Mostly benign. This is a small window between the upper heart chambers that is usually blocked off after birth.When baby starts to breathe, the circulation changes, increasing pressure that closes a flap over this window.It can still open if pressures in the upper chambers allow it. Very rarely, a person can pass a clot though that point and trigger a stroke.For most of us, it is of no functional importance. Read more...

What is done for a baby with a patent foramen ovale?

Patience. In early infancy a pfo is often simply monitored. Over time it may correct itself during normal growth. Read more...
Usually nothing. If asymptomatic usually nothing is done. One should have regular cardiology follow up until cleared permanently by your cardiologist. Read more...

What is the procedure for fixing a patent foramen ovale?

Catheter based. A PFO is usually repaired with a heart catheterization. An occluding device is delivered with a catheter from the leg and placed in the pfo. Closure is usually 100% effective. Read more...
Surgery. Open heart surgery is required to fix pfo. This is meant to close the hole between atria that did not close. Read more...
Surgery . Is one option. Percutaneous closure that is non surgical is also a valid option. See a cardiologist that is an expert in the procedure. Read more...
Surgery vs device. It can be fixed by surgery or in other cases via device closure with catheter based techniques. Talk to your cardiologist about what approach is best for you & if you even need it closed as majority of people don't. Read more...

When does a? Patent foramen ovale have to be operated on?

When it's big. Most foramen ovale close after a baby is born, however sometimes it does not close. If a person has heart problem, pictures are taken a patent foramen may be discovered. If the pfo is contributing to a heart problem it may be closed, however many are discovered only after a person dies of other causes and happens to have autopsy, in other words people likely have them and they don't effect them. Read more...
Symptomatic. Most patent foramen ovale defects are asymptomatic (do not cause symptoms). When there are issues with abnormal blood flow in the heart causing respiratory or abnormal pressure symptoms then surgery may need to be considered. Read more...