The risk of recurrence of stroke or death is believed to be around 3.8 to 5.5% per year; closure of the PFO seems to reduce this risk by about half, to approximately 2% per year. Closure of a PFO is recommended under these circumstances, and can be done percutaneously via a catheter (a long plastic tube) inserted in a vein in the groin, thus avoiding open heart surgery. It is estimated that 50 to 70 New Zealand patients per year fulfil the criteria for PFO closure.
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Website: Mercy Angiography