Dr. Aklog describes the treatments for a patent foramen ovale/PFO.
A patent foramen ovale or a PFO is a connection between the two atrial or receiving chambers of the heart – the right and left atrium. It exists at birth and typically seals soon after birth. Whether a patent foramen ovale needs to be closed or not depends on the patient’s symptoms and can be controversial. Once the decision has been made to close it, for example, on a patient who suffered a stroke that’s suspected to be as a result of a patent foramen ovale, there are two treatment options.
Fortunately, in this modern age, we actually have ways to close the patent foramen ovale without open surgery. So there are devices that could be threaded through the veins in the groin and threaded up to the heart and deployed in the heart to seal this hole or connection between the two chambers.
If a surgical procedure is necessary, then that can be done in a fairly straightforward, simple type of heart surgery, but it would require an open procedure, although it can be done using minimally invasive techniques.
About Dr. Aklog, M.D.:
Dr. Lishan Aklog is the current Director and Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Heart and Lung Institute of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona and Director of EmpowHer's Medical Advisory Board. Specializing in adult cardiac care, he graduated from Harvard College followed by Harvard Medical School. Dr. Aklog was a cardiothoracic resident at Brigham and Women’s/Boston Children’s Hospital, an Associate Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and completed international fellowships in London, England and Paris, France.
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