Overview of ASD & PFO Closure
Some patients with a hole or defect between the two upper chambers of the heart, atrial septal defect (ASD) or patent foramen ovale (PFO), have clinical symptoms that warrant closure of the hole. Most heart defects can be repaired in a cath lab procedure, though some require heart surgery.
During surgery, the surgeon closes the hole with stitches (sutures) or patches it with a large "swatch" made of either a synthetic material or your own tissue.
A cath lab closure of the defect includes the following steps:
Step 1: A catheter guides a flexible closure device through a blood vessel into your heart.
Step 2: Once the device is correctly positioned, it can expand (open) to plug the hole. There are different types of devices, but they generally work a bit like an umbrella. When the device is collapsed, it's small enough to travel inside your blood vessel. When it's opened, it covers a larger area.
Step 3: When the catheter is withdrawn, this plugging device remains behind to close the hole in your heart. Eventually the device becomes covered with the body's own tissues.
Learn what happens (and what you need to do) before, during, and after this procedure:
Also, please review the patient instructions from the cardiovascular (CV) cath lab, where you procedure will take place, for details on pre-registration and arrival time:
Finally, you may receive specific instructions from our Patient Coordinator (Structural Heart Disease), Lynn Harris. If you have questions, she can be reached at (801) 507-4795.
Where Do I Go?
Most PFO and ASD closures are performed in the CV Cath Lab by a team member of the Heart Valve and Structural Heart Disease Program. On the day of your procedure, you need to come to Intermountain Medical Center – building 4 (Heart & Lung Center). Follow the signs to Patient Registration on the first floor. We will greet you and take you to a room in our Cardiac Procedure and Recovery Unit. When it is time for your procedure, you will be taken to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
If you have questions please call us: 801-507-4701.
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