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Patent foraman ovale closure

Hole in the heart repair

If you have a hole in the heart known as patent foramen ovale, our HCA UK cardiologists can treat you with closure surgery

About

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart developed in the womb that doesn't heal properly after birth. The hole exists in the upper two chambers of the heart, collecting blood returning from the body. We offer the closure procedure to help prevent related injuries such as strokes and breathing difficulties.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    PFO closure can be carried out under local anaesthetic. The procedure lasts around one hour. Your surgeon will pass an ultrasound probe down your throat to assess the hole in your heart more clearly (transoesophageal echocardiogram). They'll then insert a catheter into a vein in your groin and pass it up to your heart. The catheter has a small balloon inside to measure the size of the hole. A device with two umbrellas will then be passed through the catheter. The umbrellas sit on either side of the hole in your heart. As the umbrellas open, they will help to close the hole. Your consultant will finish by removing the catheter.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the patent foramen ovale closure to you, and answer any questions you might have. Prior to the procedure you will undergo tests to assess the hole in your heart. This will likely include an echocardiogram, which gives your consultant clear information on the size, structure and function of your heart. You will also be advised on food and drink intake, and you should wear loose fitted clothing on the day of surgery.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Immediately after the PFO closure, you will be attached to a cardiac monitor for a few hours. This is to measure your heart rate and rhythm. An electrical sensor will also be attached to your finger, measuring your oxygen levels. You'll likely stay overnight in hospital. Whilst here you will have two more heart scans, one is called an echo and the other is an ECG. If the scans show that you are okay, you should be able to go home. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work and exercise.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

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    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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