Can I Exercise With A Patent Foramen Ovale & Are There Any Home Remedies?

PFO patients unless experiencing cardiovascular problems can do normal exercises and continue with their routines.1

Your cardiovascular specialist will suggest refraining from strenuous exercises in patients after PFO closure for one month following device implantation.2

Most Patent foramen ovale patients don’t need treatment however based on complications and other risk factors your doctor may recommend that you or your child have a procedure to close the PFO 3, 4.

Patent foramen ovale is a structural defect that occurs at birth. Medical studies show the condition is noticed in 25% of all newborns however most patients do not face any signs or symptoms. The actual cause of the condition is unknown and there are no risk factors unless accompanied by other heart abnormalities.

Can I Exercise With A Patent Foramen Ovale?

PFO can be useful in some instances especially in newborns with pulmonary hypertension or serious cardiovascular complication. This is because PFO lets blood from the two sides of the heart mix. PFO doesn’t disrupt heart function so people can live their normal lives and follow the routine.

Can I Exercise With A Patent Foramen Ovale?

Recent medical investigations demonstrate compared to individuals without a PFO, patients with this condition have an increased body temperature with ventilatory problems and acute carbon dioxide and increased susceptibility to illness. Certain studies also show that it may negatively affect exercise tolerance.1

Patent foramen ovale closure is a small invasive procedure and you will go home the same day or next morning with a small bandage where the device was inserted. Your healthcare provider will suggest a shower instead of a bath to ensure that the site remains clean. There is very minimal possibility of developing infection however if you find something unlikely visit your doctor immediately.

After 2 days of your procedure, you can start driving the car, use stairs, and walk at a normal pace. Your doctor will advise when you can go back to your normal exercise routine. Generally, you will be recommended to refrain from strenuous exercise for at least one month following device implantation.2

Are There Any Home Remedies For Patent Foramen Ovale?

Patent foramen ovale is diagnosed using one or more tests and there are several treatment options. Most cases of PFO closes on its own when the child takes its first birth. However, patent foramen ovale that doesn’t close on its own cannot be cured by home remedies. Other treatment options include

Anticoagulant Therapy: Individuals having a history of blood clots will undergo antithrombotic therapy. This will prevent stroke recurrence after cryptogenic stroke. Antiplatelet medicines such as aspirin and warfarin can help prevent blood clots.

Surgical Repair: Surgeons can close PFO by making an incision in the heart and stitch the flap-like opening. This is typically done in combination with other open-heart surgery like valve replacement. With the advancement in scientific technologies, surgical procedures are performed using robotic techniques.

Device Closure:  Until recently there is no approved catheter closure device for the patent foramen ovale repair. However, the most widely used device is the cardioSEAL (cardiac catheterization) device that plugs the PFO. During this procedure, the device is at the end of the flexible tube.3,4

It’s still not clear whether medications or procedures are the appropriate methods for the closure of PFO and several studies are still under investigation.

References:

  1. “What Do I Need to Know Once the PFO Is Closed?” The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, 14 June 2017, www.secondscount.org/treatments/treatments-detail-2/what-do-i-need-to-know-once-pfo-is-closed.
  2. “Does Patent Foramen Ovale Closure Improve Exercise Capacity & Prevent Blood Flow Through Intrapulmonary Shunt – Full Text View.” Does Patent Foramen Ovale Closure Improve Exercise Capacity & Prevent Blood Flow Through Intrapulmonary Shunt – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov, clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03904290.
  3. “Patent Foramen Ovale.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Mar. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/patent-foramen-ovale/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353491.
  4. Saver, JD. Carroll, et al. “Stimulating a Natural Process for PFO Closure.” Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology, Springer US, 1 Jan. 1970, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10840-019-00554-7.

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