On May 1st I received Closure on the Question of PFO Closure

My percutaneous closure to repair a PFO

Yes, you already may know “MAY” is National Stroke Awareness Month.  What you may not know is May 1st will always have a different meaning for me.  On May 1st, 2007 I had heart surgery or percutaneous closure to repair a PFO (patent foramen ovale) that is believed to have caused a cryptogenic embolus to get to my brain.  In other words, a small blood clot was allowed to bypass my lungs and gain a back door entry to my brain  through a congenital heart defect that proved to be more than simply an “incidental” finding.

In fact, it was discovered through diagnostic  imaging and a comprehensive neurological history and assessment that it wasn’t the first clot to escape up to my brain. I guess you would consider my PFO “pathological” as I believe that means my particular heart anatomy placed me at an increased stroke risk.

So why am I reflecting on this procedure on my 6th anniversary of PFO Closure?

According to a recent Editorial in the March 21,2013 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM.org) there is “Still No Closure on the Question of PFO Closure“.  Certainly all eyes and  (Amplatzer) investment ears too will be waiting and listening to what the FDA has to say about PFO device closure perhaps at the end of the year.  I  worry, however, that physicians and certainly already insurance carriers have not only closed the door but locked it shut on patients who also may have the same PFO pathology.  I  will  be hoping more PFO patients like myself speak up and speak out to regulatory agencies before it is too late and they throw away the keys to that door that is quickly closing on PFO.

If NOT YOU, then WHO?

David Dansereau of Know-Stroke.org

Published by David Dansereau

Licensed Physical Therapist, Nutritionist and Author in private consulting practice at PTC Physical Therapy Consulting and SmartMovesPT. Know-Stroke.org is my blog and members resource to raise stroke awareness and educate the public about reducing stroke risk as well as provide tips, tools and review new technologies for stroke recovery. Learn about my book, Body in Balance sold on Amazon at www.physicaltherapycoach.com

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  1. My husband is going through hell right now, and has for the past 10 years. We recently found out that he had a PFO and were told it would be closed, but the doctors don’t feel it will help him at all so we are in limbo. He has had 6 stroke-like episodes which we are always told are ‘Complex Migraines’. We have had been in and out of the ER’s and none of the doctors seem to care that his life is horrible. We were told that he was experiencing TIA’s, but now we have been told that isn’t the case because there is no damage on the CT scans.
    Where was your PFO closure procedure done? We live in Boise Idaho and the people who are ‘in charge’ all have their heads up their asses. We have one doctor on our side, but the committee overruled him on performing the procedure.


      1. Hi David, no worries.
        Yes, we were able to get it done at U of U in Salt Lake one week ago today. Already we are callig it a success. He feels amazing!


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