PFO closure and recovery information

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Tina1962
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Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/31/2011 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I am reading now, as I should be in bed..I am having my PFO closure done in the morning. I have expectations of this pain in my chest and the shortness of breath going away!!!!! I went from a training body builder 18 months ago, to a tired old feeling body. I can't even remember what it is like to not be short of breath and tired all the time. I am hoping to post that all went well and that I am feeling great....................................


to be continued................................ smurf

Vickster29
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted Yesterday 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my PFO closure in 2009 my symptoms were extreme headaches that put me down for 3 to 4 days at a time but I had a headache EVERYDAY I had the Aura, the flashing bubbles I would have slurred speach, I would forget what I was saying midsentence, forget where I was going, this was all after 3yrs of being treated for migraines I KNEW SOMETHING else was wrong so I went to a new doc, and he sent me to get the doppler test and they were AMAZED there were so many bubbles we couldn't even count them....So they sent me RIGHT away to Dr. Sorensen the Guru of PFO closures LOL... with all the testing they did a closure right away I had many mini strokes the Doc said that my hole was the biggest he had closed other than his own and obviously he didn't close his own tongue I felt all of what everyone has felt on these blogs  I went 1yr NO HEADACHE it was heaven I forgot what it was like without a headache... but for the last year I have my headaches back  cry I am being checked all over again for EVERYTHING just had an MRI yesterday of my brain and cervical spine, have not went back to the cardiologist, that will be my next step I will try to update and let ya'll know if it has anything to do with the closure Blessings to all of you and I recommend the closure even if it's a year of relief yeah God Bless!!     Vicky

Gurglingmonk
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/7/2011 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I am a 34 year old male and had a PFO closure on 10/10/2011, it was discovered after two TIA's and complaints of headaches as well as dizziness. The procedure went well, it lasted about 2 hours and since i was under sedation it was moderately painless i was put on Plavix and aspiring for 6 months. The recovery has been going well with some minor setbacks, two weeks after the procedure i had to go to the emergency room with tachycardia and arrhythmia. This was somewhat depressing for me since i was recouperating so well and was looking forward to start jogging and getting back into my routine. Now i can't sleep laying flat in the bed becuase after 3 minutes of laying down i start getting arrhythmias, i have to put a pillow against the backboard and sleep with my back againts the backboard. The doctor has since put me on Inderal (propanolol) and had a monitor install which i drop off today.
 
has anyone experience tachycardia and arrhythmia after having the PFO closure? If so do they go away?
 
Thank you so much to everyone the inputs and comments on this site really sooth and help those of us who have gone throught or are getting ready to have the procedure done.
 
 

sldeavor
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/29/2011 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 41 yrs old and I have know about my pfo since birth. I have been followed by a cardiologist since I was 6mths old. Not only do I have the pfo, I have a bicusbid aortic valvue. I have had unexplained miagraines for many years, bouts of high blood pressure, tingling in face, among many other symptoms. Just 2 weeks ago I had a spell where I could not process what anyone was telling me. I was seen by my GP who referred me to my Cardiologist and next week I will be having my pfo closed. I have severe anxiety. He will doing a TEE along with the closure so I will be placed under general anesthesia but the anxiety is still here. So scared. Reading all the posts have really helped. I hope I feel as good as everyone here once I totally heal from the procedure.

Scooby-do
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/13/2011 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Just joined today as I've just gone thru quite a bit.
Had a simple knee procedure at the end of Oct 2011, I'm 38, female marathoner experiencing some knee pain, so wanted to get it fixed. 48 hours later I had a heart attack, went into cardiac arrest luckily in the presence of the LAFD, CPR shocked 8 times, into ER shocked 3 more times, moved to ICU once I was stable, then transferred to Kaiser Sunset ICU 24 hrs later.

As it turns out a clot moved from my leg, to my lung, to the heart, thru the PFO I didn't know I had, to the brain causing a stroke. Two weeks in ICU, various tests, on heparin, then warfarin to get my levels up before I could leave.

I'm on warfarin for 3 months, while the haematologist is running 10 different blood tests to find out if I have a blood disorder. Haematologist might keep me on for 6 months, to be discussed at the end of January.

No heart damage, but back at the end of January to discuss whether or not we close the PFO, there is also the chance it could be too small to close.

Seeing the neurologist at the end of this month. The thought of closure and no longer having migraines is a wonderful option, as I've been having them with Auras since I was 16.

Concerns? Yes, the thought of another surgery kinda worries me. Would like to know if anyone else is with Kaiser for one, if there is a doctor in Kaiser that someone can recommend. I know they have a whole team discussing me, and I have a heart surgeon friend at St. John's in Santa Monica who I can talk to as a second opinion, but still overwhelming.

Is this a surgery that should happen quickly, or can I take some time.

I'm back at work part time, but if I do this procedure, how long would I be off work, when can I fly etc.

If anyone has any advice/guidance, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Jazzy12
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/22/2012 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I had single bypass surgery on 6-20-11 at the age of 54.  Which was a complete shock to me and everyone I know because I eat right and exercise.  Then in Nov. 2011 I  had an aura and confusion and was told by my doctor's office to go to the ER.  They diagnosed me with a TIA and the nuerologist did a bubble echo and said I had a PFO.  I had had similar episodes since my twenties, usually 4 or 5 per year, but was once told that nothing was wrong with me, so I always considered them to be migraines.  I had the PFO closed on 11-30-11 and wish I hadn't.  I have had at least one TIA or Migraine per week since the closure.  The cardiologist keeps saying that I can expect them for 3 to 6 months after the procedure.  The nuerologist is trying to figure out whether they are TIAs or Migraines and why I'm having more now than before.  I'm going to another cardiologist next week for a second opinion.  Has anyone else had more problems after the PFO closure than before?

RC888
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/12/2012 6:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Just wanted to share with everyone-
Im a 36 yr old female pretty active & some what healthy. On July 29, 2011 i had a full blown ischemic cerebellar stroke, i was immediately prescribed 3mg of coumadin. after one month of aggressive physical therapy and acupuncture For paralysis on the right side i was given the green light to fly to LA Ceddars Sinai for indepth research as to why I had a stroke.
While under going blood work and tests the neurologists and cardiologists confirmed I had a stroke from taking "oral birth control" pills and to top it off I had a PFO and I was protein S deficient.
With the grace of God there just happened to be an available slot open for the procedure and although I was scared, I did not want to experience a 2nd stroke.
On September 12, 2011 the procedure to close the PFO was done by dr. Kar. All went well, I believe recovery for everyone is different, the first 3 months I experienced headaches, migraines, weakness, difficulty breathing at times and heaviness in chest not life threatening just uncomfortable at times.
It is now February 11, 2012, 5 months post surgery and I feel much stronger and the migraines have lessened once we identified contributing factors to include certain foods ie, chocolate caffeine cheese MSG weather and other triggers. I walk daily for excercise, however when I go up hills I do experience slight difficulty breathing.
I'm still on 75mg of plavix for 3 more months and 325mg of aspirin.
In closing I like many others are on the road to recovery. I have no regrets of having the surgery and I am grateful i was given a 2nd chance.
With God, my husband children parents family and friends by my side I'm able to focus on getting 100% back to normal so i could help others in need.
Thanks for allowing me to share and please feel free to contact me.
God bless.

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/20/2012 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi rc888, i hope all is well with you. I read your story and I would like to share info with you. IM A 47 year old male and I just had a PFO closure on jan 10 2012. My only symptom of the PFO has been difficulty breathing during exertion. This started in 1995 and i started see doctors in 2001. The PFO was not found till Nov. 2011. I believe it about 5 months since your procedure, i was wondering how you feel. For me its been 45 days. My PFO is not yet fully closed. My O2 levels still fall into low 80s during exertion. heart rate still elavated ( low 100s ). Still having difficulty breathing. Past few days I have heaviness in chest, discomfort in chest and fluttering in chest. Just wondering if you started to feel better, when you started to feel better. please let me know.

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/26/2012 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
To all, its been 46 days since my procedure and i want all to know that chest pain, chest discomfort and fluttering has stopped for now. O2 levels now falling into mid to high 80s after walking up stairs. heart rate is starting to drop to mid 60s to high 70s at rest and 100 to 125 during exertion. still having difficulty breathing during exertion, but seems to be getting better.

Sanja123456
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/2/2012 7:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I am a 34 year old mother of four who just had an ASD closure on 2/22/12. I have always been very active, I even have a black belt in jujitsu. As far as I can remember I have always had weird heart beats a couple times a year, thought nothing of it, I even carried my twins full term while on 4 months of bed rest and terbutaline. On Sept 24 2010 things got really weird, I bent down to tie my sons sneakers and went into AFib. I went to the emergency room with a heart rate of 160, no meds got it down so I needed to be cardioverted. In the next year and half my cardiologist performed a stress echo (normal) a bubble study (normal). My symptoms in this year and a half were getting progressively worse, palputations, chest cramps, yawning all day long, increased heart rate and chest pressure. I went back to my cardiologist and demanded a echo, she sent me to get one, then she called with the results and said that everything looks ok but that my right side is slightly enlarged and that I must have an athletes heart???? I knew it was more than that, went to a specialist in NYC, she ordered a cardio MRI to get all the details on my heart, sure enough I had a moderate to large ASD (size was between a nickel and quarter)! Just had my surgery with a cardiovascular sergeuon who has performed over 3,000 closures at Colombia in NYC. I am on Plavix for 3 mos, aspirin for 6 mos and a beta blocker for 1 mo ( to control my rate). My breathing improved dramatically, buy I still feel all of the chest pressures and some upper back pain. I just want to feel normal again! How long before I get some relief? When will the right side of my heart start to shrink? Thanks!

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/2/2012 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
hi sanja123456, did you have surgery or a device installed through your groin? do you have an elevated heart rate since surgery?

Sanja123456
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/2/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the device put in. My heart rate was high for the past year... And it continues to be high, but they put me on beta blockers. The doc said it should go down when my right side of the heart begins to shrink back to normal.

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/3/2012 12:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I never had a elevated heart rate. Since my procedure it is running high. Seems to be getting better at rest but still high during exertion. 100 to 130. My only sympton of the pfo was shortness of breath. Its been 53 days for me and am still getting short of breath, mostly when i walk upstairs. I am glad you are breathing better. I have not had any chest pain for 2 weeks now. The doctor did tell u your heart would shrink back? Did you get short of breath before procedure. If so at rest or exertion?

Sanja123456
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/3/2012 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
The right side of my heart has been enlarged for some time now because of the shunt caused by the ASD. My said my heart rate problems should resolve when the right ventricle starts to sharing now that the hole is closed. The one thing I learned is that everyone's situation is very different. Try to give it more time sometimes these things resolve with time. Glad to gear the chest pressure is gone. I did get shortness of breath at exertion before the procedure, again my doc attributes this to the enlargement of the right ventricle, it's double the left.

DWelz
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/8/2012 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi! i am a 36 years old woman, having closure of POF on february 2011, before the closure I have shortness of breath during exertion since I had a liver stroke 4 years ago. Before that I used to practice sport ( Aikido, capoeira, swimming ) with no problem.

After the closure I felt shortness of breath, pain and chest pressure during exertion for almost 3 months after closure, chest pressure when flying (that I still feel), and palpitations and a kind of arritmia that disappered one month after the closure.

Then I have no symptoms so I start practicing sport 6 months after closure, and with that, shortness of breath and pain came again. Cardiologist told me that he has never had a patient with this symptoms, so that they Would be due to other causes not the heart, and he suggest me to continue making sport. On november 2011 I had a very intense heart pain while running, and from then, shortness of breath, pain and pressure during minimun exertion again.

So, I had to stop practicing sport because I couldn't go up the stairs of my house without pain. The cardiologist says that the amplatzer is in his place, and a little shunt appear again.

Now I am much better again, (3 months and half after the pain while running) I can walk and go up stairs with no problem, but I have not start practicing sport.
I read a doctor saying to wait almost one year to practice sport.

The only thing I continue feeling is the chest pressure while flying, does someone feels the same?

Thank you!

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/8/2012 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
hi dwelz hope all is well when you r not flying. i had my closer on jan. 10 2012 and i flew to florida on feb. 06 2012 and i had no pain at all. since the closer ( just 2 months now ) i only had chest pain, palpitations the week of feb 13 2012 - feb 17 2012. none since. my pfo is just half way closed. i had tee on feb 20 2012. still have shortness of breath, sometimes feel worse then before closer. how long before your shortness of breath went away or got better. plesse let me know

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/11/2012 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi to all just have an update to my pfo closure. its been 3 months and im just starting to feel better. My breathing seems to be getting better at exertion ( walking up stairs ). heart rate seems to be fallen too.

rrasmus1
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/18/2012 11:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I would like to give you all an update since my pfo closure on March 3, 2011. Today's date is: 18 April 2012.
For the first 10 days after the procedure I felt great. Actually, I felt pretty well before the closure. On March 13, ten days after the closure I experienced extreme heart palpitations. I was given a sheet of the possible side effects, from the doctors nurse, before I was sent home. It did mention the possibility of heart palpitations and the possible length of time to expect them. It said 1 to 2 months. When they first hit I was a little frightened because I had never had anything like that before. Even the sleightest exertion and off they would go.Sort of like a horse race. I still maintained the Plavix and Aspirin regiment for the required 6 months then I stopped. The palpitations did go on for a little more than 2 months. Yes, at first they were quite severe but over time they did diminish and about 6 months ago they stopped all together. I am trying to exercise by taking long walks at least 30 minutes or more a day. I did try the walk/run concept for a while but I would experience a palpitation or two. So, for now, it's just walking. Hopefully, one day soon I can get back to at least some jogging.
One thing I noticed, right after the closure, I could feel my pulse in my feet. I don't remember ever feeling that before. Plus, I have a strong pulse. When I am lying down I feel it in my ears. When at rest my pulse is around 60 bpm.
Thanks for all your posts. Another place you may find some helpful information is at: EarthClinic.com.

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/19/2012 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
hi rrasmus 1. its been 13 months since your closure. just wondering how you feel overall. Did you have shortness of breath before closure and if so is it better. Has your pfo closed all the way? if so how long did it take? Its been 3.5 months for me and my 02 levels still fallen into mid 80's during exertion. But im starting to feel better overall. please let me know. thanks montanajoe

rrasmus1
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/19/2012 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Montanajoe:
Overall I feel great! Did I have any shortness of breath before the closure? No. I did somewhat after, however. At this time I have no problem with that. Has my pfo closed all the way? After the appliance was installed the doctor did a  bubble test on the spot. No bubbles. I never did have my 02 levels checked except in the recovery room. It was good then. Happy you are beginning to feel better. Did you have any palpitations following your closure? Just curious. Thanks for the reply.

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/20/2012 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi rrasmus1, I had palpitations for a few days after the closure then they stopped. then I flew to florida on feb 6 2012 felt fine except for shortness of breath. then on feb 14 2012 I flew home and I had chest pain and papitations for one week straight. then they stopped and have not had one since. I just want my breathing to get better. my heart rate is just now { 3.5 months later} starting to go back to normal. 60's to 70's bpm. thanks for info its a big help knowing what to expect. By the way what was your main symptom from the pfo. mine was shortness of breath at exertion only. no other symptoms at all.

DWelz
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/26/2012 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Montanajoe! Sorry for the delay of my answer, I fell quite well when I not flying or traveling by bus or train. I have been flying this month, and felling preasure and pain specially when landind, the pain starts just when something changes in the cabine pressure. But if I am not traveling I fell better everyday. I can go up one floor stairs without shortness of breath or pain, and I am walking for 1 hour, slowly, 4 days a week. Glad you feel better!

montanajoe
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/26/2012 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
hi dwelz, what was total time before breating started to grt better? im at 3.5 months and breating still not good.

DWelz
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/26/2012 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi montanajoe! Dont worry, for me it was 4 months to start having days without shortnbreatness, 1 day good, other bad, then a week good and some days bad, then 2weeks fine...6 months after the closure i had more good days than bad, now (more than one year after the closure, but almost six after it brokes a little) I am having almost all days without short of breathness, but if i do more than ususal i fell it. For example, 2 months ago i couldnt carry any shoping bag (nothing, I had to go out home only with the keys and the credit card because i couldnt wear a bag with wallet....now i can wear my bag, and i can go shopping carring 2-3 kg with no short of breath, but if I try a suitcase...it appears, any way, I think it is a long way to close it properly, and we have to give time with no efford situations to let our body to cover the amplatzer completly, if there is any part not well epitelizated there is some blood mix that makes us to feel the shortness of breathing. So steep by steep and celebrting the small things we can do better every week!

DWelz
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/26/2012 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi montanajoe! Dont worry, for me it was 4 months to start having days without shortnbreatness, 1 day good, other bad, then a week good and some days bad, then 2weeks fine...6 months after the closure i had more good days than bad, now (more than one year after the closure, but almost six after it brokes a little) I am having almost all days without short of breathness, but if i do more than ususal i fell it. For example, 2 months ago i couldnt carry any shoping bag (nothing, I had to go out home only with the keys and the credit card because i couldnt wear a bag with wallet....now i can wear my bag, and i can go shopping carring 2-3 kg with no short of breath, but if I try a suitcase...it appears, any way, I think it is a long way to close it properly, and we have to give time with no efford situations to let our body to cover the amplatzer completly, if there is any part not well epitelizated there is some blood mix that makes us to feel the shortness of breathing. So steep by steep and celebrting the small things we can do better every week!
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