PFO is the most common type of heart defect. In fact, one in four people may have a PFO to some degree, but in many cases it is not large enough to create symptoms or require any immediate treatment in childhood. Many people grow up and a lead normal life without even knowing they have a PFO.
However there are a number of harmful and life affecting conditions caused by a PFO, such as migraine headaches and it is suspected to be the cause of cryptogenic stroke.
Your doctor may recommend a PFO closure procedure if it is likely your PFO is affecting the quality of your day-to-day life. Migraine headaches are common in patients with a PFO - in many cases, closure of the PFO results in improvement of migraine symptoms. PFO is associated with an increase in stroke in about 40 percent of cases. Some common symptoms of stroke are:
Potential risks include: