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Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

pfoThe foramen ovale is a communication between the left and right sides of the heart that allows blood to bypass the lungs in a developing fetus, and normally closes after birth when the baby begins breathing. It does not close completely (remains patent) in about 20% of the general population, and may be an important cause of stroke in people under the age of 50. While stroke is uncommon in this age group anyway, about 50% of those who do have some form of stroke and are aged less than 50 have a patent foramen ovale (PFO).

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.

Contact details for Mercy Angiography

Address: 98 Mountain Rd, Epsom, Auckland.
Phone: 09 630 1961
Facsimile: 09 630 1962
Email: admin@mercyangiography.co.nz
Website: Mercy Angiography

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