I am 5 weeks post PFO closure and while it was tough for awhile after the procedure I am finally feeling good and getting my energy back. No matter what the doctors say I am convinced that it takes a good 5 - 6 weeks recovery time. Around week three I devloped an irritable heart which was a reaction to the procedure and the device and I ended up back in the emergency room. I was having nonstop PACs [Premature Atrial Contractions] which they were finally able to control with medication but it took 2 weeks of being on Toprol before the PACs stopped. Those two weeks were not very pleasant! I also developed a slight allergic reaction rash to the Toprol which we are trying to control but hasn't totally gone away yet but I'd much rather have that then the PACs.
I am also a migraine sufferer and have had them since I was a small child. However the reason they found my PFO was because I had an unexplained TIA in February. I did not want to live with the high risk of another stroke or TIA over my head so I did the procedure and even with the problems I had I would do it again in a heartbeat, a regular heartbeat that is, LOL! I figure 6 weeks of discomfort is well worth a lifetime of remaining alive. Also, just so you know I have had zero migraines or headaches at all since the procedure!
Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions I can help you with.
Cat MOM 5--
I have the same diagonisis as you did pre surgery. I have an ASA and PFO. I have not, that I know of, had any TIA's but need to go to a nuero to find out.
I would like to have my PFO closed but not sure in my area they do this sort of thing. Where did you go for your closure? Did you get the Amplatzer device?
Hi Fran365! I'm so sorry to hear about your symptoms and your PFO. It is a very scarey time you are going through. But you are not alone! If you have any specific questions please let me know and I would be glad to tell you about my experiences. I had my closure procedure done 11 weeks ago. I had the Gore-Helex device implanted. From what I have read, the procedure itself and the medicines used and legnth of hospital stay varies by individual doctor. You need to find out from your own doctor how he handles the procedure and all that it entails.
My procedure was done early on a Monday morning and I was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. I did not have any drugs to knock me out during the procedure other than a topical anaesthetic on the insertion sites. My doctor does the catheter through one groin and a camera through the other. Once the procedure was over I was moved to a recovery room which was where they pulled the tubes. How long the tubes stay in depends upon how long it takes for your blood coagulations levels to rise as they don't want you to bleed out once the tubes are pulled. It took about an hour for my levels to rise enough that they could pull the tubes. Once the tubes are pulled I had a nurse on either side pressing down on the sites until the bleeding stopped. I can't remember the exact time that took but it did take quite a while. Then you will have to be flat for 4-6 hours [6 hours for me]. I was up and walking that night though.
Pretty much everyone I've talked to that has had the procedure done has had some type of heaviness, pain in the chest or "chicken boning" afterwards. It can take a couple of weeks for this to go away. Also, pretty much everyone has said that it took them 5 or 6 weeks before their energy started to come back. It took me about 6 weeks before I could finally tell my husband that "I feel good" and we starting walking for excercize. You are very young however, so I'm thinking that you will probably recover very quickly!
As far as side effects? Well I'm not sure how many there are but I had one of the more common ones. about 3 weeks after the procedure I developed non-stop PACs or premature atrial contractions. If you read the device literature you will see that arrythmias can be a side affect. I've been on medicine for that ever since and it has only been the last 3 or 4 days where I haven't had any PACs at all. I am so hoping that they have gone away for good.
Given that time is an absolutely crucial
factor in successful evaluation and treatment of stroke symptoms ,
time-frames must be established to guide an institutional response. It is critical that the initial evaluating physician carefully establish, as
closely as possible, the exact time of symptom onset.
I am shocked to read your Cardiologist did not give you your results re the PFO or start looking for other reasons for what caused your strokes. Also did he start you on any meds ?
I wish each of you peace.