Patent foramen ovale closure (PFO)
This procedure is a non-surgical method of closing the tunnel in the atrial septum, using an implantable umbrella-type closure device (watchman procedure). The procedure is conducted in an angiography suite (“cath lab”) at Intra. Your interventional cardiologist will be assisted by nurses and other skilled staff.
The PFO occluder is delivered through a catheter (a small plastic tube used to access the heart) via an incision in the groin, using x-ray guidance. The doctor positions the occluder to expand each disc on either side of the tunnel, thereby sealing it closed.
PFO occluders are made of nitinol, a wire mesh made from an alloy of nickel and titanium shaped into two flat discs and a middle, or “waist” which straddles the septum. Polyester fabric inserts help close the hole and provide a foundation for growth of tissue over the occluder after placement.