If your doctor diagnoses you with PFO, they may not recommend any treatment at all. However, treatment may be recommended in some cases, such as if you have additional cardiac complications or had a stroke because of a clot in your brain.

Blood-thinning medicines, such as warfarin, Eliquis and Xarelto, will not close the hole in your heart. However, they can stop more blood clots from forming, which will reduce your risk of having a stroke.

At the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, providers offer minimally invasive, catheter-based PFO closure to restore normal blood flow. The UK Structural Heart Program team closes the PFO through cardiac catheterization, in which your doctor inserts a long, thin tube, called a catheter, into a vein in your groin and carefully guides it into your heart. The doctor then guides an implant through the catheter to the hole, where it will expand and seal the PFO closed. This procedure, which can be performed using local anesthesia, typically takes half an hour, and most patients are able to go home the same day.

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