Does PFO Closure Prevent Stroke & Are You Awake During A PFO Closure & How Much Does It Cost?

Clinical studies have favored the reduction of recurrent stroke by 4.9% in patients who have undergone PFO closure.1,2

Cardiac catheterization is the typical procedure followed for a PFO closure, during this process the patient is given a local anesthetic to numb the area to perform the procedure.3

Charges for PFO closure include diagnostic tests, outpatient consultations, and catheterization procedures, and the costs are often determined based on the complication.4, 5

Does PFO Closure Prevent Stroke & Are You Awake During A PFO Closure?

PFO closure is a minimally invasive procedure that has less impact when compared to surgery. It will neither leave a scar nor require a massive heart rehabilitation, unlike open-heart surgery. The procedure is usually performed in a hospital and the patient is given a local anesthetic to create numbness in the groin area. General anesthesia often depends on the patient’s health condition and the doctor’s need.1, 2

The patient will remain awake however they did not feel the pain or any sensation during the procedure. You will have pressure applied to the puncture site in your groin until the bleeding completely stops. You can go back home after the anesthesia has been completely worn off. Clinical studies have shown that PFO closure has proven successful in the complete risk reduction of recurrent strokes. The association between PFO and cryptogenic stroke has been well defined in several theories.

A study was conducted on 20 patients who were treated for this condition. Out of this, the risk reduction was observed in 4.9% of patients with one stroke avoided at 5 years. Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in the United States and accounts for 11.8% of total death. People spend almost $35 billion every year to treat stroke and certain strokes are strongly associated with cryptogenic.

The prevalence of PFO was considerably higher in patients who suffered a cryptogenic stroke. Julius Friedrich Cohnheim a German-Jewish pathologist was the first to describe the association of PFO with stroke. Numerous retroactive case-control studies have also shown a higher incidence of PFO in patients with cardiac stroke.3

How Much Does A PFO Closure Cost?

Although the procedure for PFO closure ($19,364.97) is more expensive than surgery ($3,152.23), yet in patients with cryptogenic stroke, the prognosis was excellent. Medicine and outcome costs were higher with PFO closure and this proved from five randomized clinical trials on PFO closure and national databases of the department of neurology at the University of Colorado Denver.

The trial demonstrated a 15-year cost and outcome of PFO closure with medical therapy. When compared with the two strategies PFO closure for cryptogenic strokes is cost-effective however transcatheter PFO closure is expensive with some complications. The good part is though therapies are expensive still reduce stroke occurrences in patients with PFO and this is more vital.4,5

A patent foramen ovale is a small, flap-like opening in the chambers of the heart causing no signs and symptoms. If you are diagnosed with PFO, it is often advisable to do the PFO closure to reduce the risk of recurrent strokes. When the foramen ovale is left open it allows a large amount of blood to flow between the right and left chambers of the heart and put pressure on the major blood vessels.

Closing the PFO can protect the heart function with an absolute risk reduction of ischemic stroke and blood clots in the legs or lungs.

References:

  1. “What Are the Risks of PFO Closure with a Device?” The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, 14 June 2017, www.secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/what-are-risks-of-pfo-closure-with-device.
  2. “PFO Closure to Prevent Stroke.” Cardiac Interventions Today, Bryn Mawr Communications, citoday.com/articles/2010-jan-feb/pfo-closure-to-prevent-stroke
  3. “Closing a Patent Foramen Ovale, Catheter-Based Procedures, PFO Closure Devices.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/11627-patent-foramen-ovale-pfo–catheter-based-procedures.
  4. “PFO Closure Found to Be Cost-Effective Following Cryptogenic Stroke.” Cardiovascular Business, 23 Jan. 2019, www.cardiovascularbusiness.com/topics/vascular-endovascular/pfo-closure-found-be-cost-effective-following-cryptogenic-stroke.
  5. Maxwell, Yael L. “Study Suggests PFO Closure May Be Cost-Effective Over Long Term.” TCTMD.com, TCTMD.com, 30 Aug. 2016, www.tctmd.com/news/study-suggests-pfo-closure-may-be-cost-effective-over-long-term.