Wollongong: (02) 4227 1840 | View Locations

PFO (patent foramen ovale) and ASD (atrial septal defect) are congenital heart defects that can cause problems such as stroke, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Closure of these defects may be recommended to prevent these problems. Here is some information that may be helpful for patients undergoing PFO or ASD closure:

1. Purpose:

The purpose of PFO or ASD closure is to close the hole in the heart and prevent blood from flowing between the two chambers of the heart. This is typically done using a small device that is inserted through a catheter and placed over the hole.

2. Preparation:

Patients may need to fast for a few hours before the procedure, and should inform their healthcare provider of any medications they are taking.

3. Procedure:

During the procedure, a healthcare provider will insert a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through a vein in the groin and into the heart. The device is then inserted through the catheter and placed over the hole to close it.

4. Duration:

The procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete

5. Risks:

PFO or ASD closure is generally considered safe, but there is a small risk of bleeding, infection, or damage to the heart or other organs. Patients may also experience an irregular heartbeat or other complications after the procedure.

6. Recovery:

Patients will typically need to stay in the hospital for a few hours to a day after the procedure, and can usually resume normal activities within a few days. Patients should also follow their healthcare provider’s instructions regarding medication and follow-up care.

Can I have an MRI scan after a PFO or ASD closure?

Yes, the devices used for this are MRI safe.

Where should I go to if I have any other questions?

You can contact our structural heart email (checked regularly by either our Structural Heart Nurse Co-ordinator or one of our structural heart doctors) at wollongongstructuralheart@gmail.com

Alternatively you can contact The Cardiac Centre at reception@thecardiaccentre.com.au and your question will be passed on to your structural heart doctor.

It’s important for patients to discuss any questions or concerns they may have about PFO or ASD closure with their healthcare provider. Patients should also inform their healthcare provider if they experience any new symptoms or changes in their condition after the procedure.

Office Hours:

Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 4.30pm