Invasive and interventional cardiology uses minimally-invasive testing and procedures to diagnose and treat heart conditions. At Cardiovascular Medicine, PLLC, we are leaders in providing invasive cardiology treatments that relieve your symptoms and lower your risk of complications from heart disease. Our board certified physicians have undergone extensive specialized training to ensure you receive state-of-the-art care.
When to See an Interventional Cardiologist
Having a heart condition can prevent you from living life to its fullest. Interventional cardiologists can help you experience relief from your symptoms as well as reduce your risk of developing a more serious form of heart disease. Invasive cardiology procedures can help manage various heart conditions, including:
To understand what’s causing your symptoms, it is necessary to perform diagnostic testing. We offer several types of diagnostic procedures that allow us to see how well your heart and vessels are functioning. This provides us with a clearer picture so we can recommend the appropriate treatment plan. Our comprehensive diagnostic procedures include:
The goal of treatment for cardiovascular conditions is to provide you with both relief from symptoms and the peace of mind that comes with prioritizing your health. We are proud to offer the most advanced treatment options in the area. With the right interventional cardiology treatments, we can help you better manage your condition and significantly improve your day-to-day living. Our treatments include:
Non-Surgical Closure of Patent Foramen Ovale in Patients with a Stroke
What is Patent Foramen Ovale in Patients?
The foramen ovale is a flaplike opening in the wall between the left and right atria that every fetus has until they are born. When an infant takes its first breath, the foramen ovale closes, and in 75 percent of people, it seals completely within a few months. When it fails to close, the condition is called patent foramen ovale.
A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart that fails to close the way it should after birth; occurring in about 25 percent of people. For most, it doesn't pose a problem. However, there are cases in which the blood that leaks through the hole can form a clot, which poses certain health risks, such as:
- Low blood oxygen levels: Though rare, a patent foramen ovale could cause blood to bypass the lungs, leading to low blood oxygen levels.
- Stroke: If blood clots travel to the heart, they could enter the left side of the heart through the patent foramen ovale and travel to the brain. The blockage could lead to ischemic stroke.
We treat patent foramen ovale using a minimally-invasive cardiology procedure known as a cardiac catheterization. During the procedure, doctors insert a device that will plug the hole. We use a catheter, a long, flexible tube, to guide the device to your heart.
Before the Procedure
Refrain from eating or drinking 12 hours prior to your appointment. If (and only if) instructed by your doctor, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners.
During the ProcedureWe will administer an IV and sedatives, if needed, to help you relax. Next, we will numb the area in which the catheter will be placed (typically near the groin or neck). Your doctor will insert the device-tipped catheter into a blood vessel via a tiny incision in the skin. Using echocardiogram imaging, your doctor will guide the device into place, where it will remain to seal the hole.
It will take a few hours after the procedure for the sedation to wear off. You will remain in a recovery room, where you'll be asked to lay flat and avoid moving the leg or arm where the insertion occurred. This gives your artery time to heal.
You may be able to go home after several hours, or you may need to stay overnight. When it's time to go home, you will need someone to drive you.
You may experience a few days of mild pain and soreness in the area where the catheter was inserted. You should be able to resume most normal activities within a week of your patent foramen ovale closure.
Risks & Side Effects
Though complications are rare with a patent foramen ovale closure, invasive cardiology procedures come with some risks. Risks can include:
- A tear of the heart or blood vessels
- Movement of the device after placement
- Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- Bleeding or bruising at the site of the insertion
Am I a Candidate?
A patent foramen ovale closure is typically recommended for active, younger patients who have had a stroke with no other explanation other than PFO. Factors that put you at a higher risk of having a stroke, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Atrial fibrillation
- Heart disease
- Family history of heart disease
- Birth control pills