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Patent Foramen Ovale

Patent Foramen Ovale


During fetal development, there is an opening between the heart's left and right upper chambers. Normally, this opening closes shortly after birth. When this doesn't happen, the remaining hole is called Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO). It is generally considered a harmless heart condition.


People with patent foramen ovale usually don't experience any symptoms.


Patent foramen ovale can be diagnosed through:


Many people with PFO don't need treatment. Some will take medication. Patients at a higher risk of stroke might have a non-surgical procedure, including:

  • Closer device to close the PFO
  • A surgical procedure (heart surgery)