PFO closure and recovery information

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/10/2016 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had Aura migraines since I was 17 years old. Averaging 6-10 times a year. I'm now 55. I had a stroke in the visual part of my brain with visual impairment lasting only 24hrs on Dec 2013 at age 53. Seemed like a big Aura Migraine but lasted far past the usual 45 minutes. MRI discovered the stoke. Echo bubble test found the PFO. Kaiser Permanente would not close my PFO unless I had a second stroke or TIA. In Mar 2015 I had a TIA (left side went numb for a few seconds). My PFO closure was done Apr 2015. Amplatzer device. I had one 24 hour long episode of Afib within a few weeks of closure, but Doctor thinks it was related to dehydration. My last Aura migraine was Feb 15, 2015 just before my TIA....Until this morning Feb 10, 2016. I had an Aura Migraine lasting the usual 30-45Min. I'm so bummed! I thought I was done with these things. I do not get a headache with my Aura episodes. I was on 325mg aspirin and Plavix for 6 months after closure, now 81mg aspirin only. I have no other medical issues, and take no other medications.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/21/2016 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear all,

Have any of you been exposed to Magnetic Resonance?
I was last week, for a shoulder problem, I adviced the doctor but they told me that their machine was compatible with de Amplatzer device so I accept to do it, but I have to stop after 4 min due to a heating feeling in the device area and an increasing chest pain.

I wonder if any of you have had this problem (I am with pain again every day just doing small efforts 😞) and if so, when it dissapeared and would like to advice about Magnetic Resonance.

Kind regards!

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/27/2016 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   

I grew up with migraines, anemia, and never being able to do anything aerobic. If I did I'd be worn out for hours. I was just never sure what caused the issue. I was thin...and pretty active but I could never climb or do heavy dancing or aerobic exercises without feeling horrid afterward. I also could never stand for very long. I also had at least 2 bouts a year of bronchial infections that lasted for months. This was my life.

I began having arrhythmia issues in 2003. I was taking Imitrix for the migraines plus I was given Albuterol because I was again having a very bad course of bronchitis. This was the first time I'd received that treatment. I didn't realize I was having a high heart rate. My office was in my home - so I could work. I'd just rest when needed. I did take my blood pressure for some reason. Anyway, I began having breathing problems and we went to ER figuring the bronchitis had worsened. Turned out I was in heart failure. Unfortunately that's all the docs worried about and greatly treated. I kept telling them I was sure it was from the high heart rate - I checked my electronic BP and it showed I had had this heart rate for 6 weeks (about 135). They just didn't listen.

I went through a mess then of meds that made me ill and for which I strongly feel eventually kicked in the arrhythmia permanently. I had an ablation in 2007 by the best in the U.S. I still had episodes afterward. I had another ablation in 2009 by another that was one of the best (Cleveland Clinic) and afterward he told my husband I had another opening which 25% of people have. He never told me this and at the time I just blew it away. I was just overwhelmed with all of this.

I continued to have issues. No meds ever helped me. I again had an ablation in 2014 - different doc again. I have still had issues.

After the 2009 ablation I had to lay at about a 45 degree angle or my heart would being PACs. If I didn't get my angle just right the PACs would worsen to the point that they would be every other beat (bigeminy).

I have been electrically cardioverted now probably 25 times since 2003. It always works - I go back into rhythm.

I didn't go out of rhythm for 1.5 years and then wham it happened again late May this year. The doc used too many joules and greatly burned me. Now I can only sleep sitting up....

I see both a regular cardiologist and an electrophysiologist (for the ablation and cardioversions). The regular said no more ablations when I saw him in July. He said I probably do have a PFO and that the ablations can actually make it worse.

I am going to have a bubble study in a couple of weeks. I keep rescheduling because my heart keeps having PACs and I don't want anything to put me in full arrhythmia.

I do feel that it was during the 2nd ablation that the PFO may have gotten larger. I felt very weak for a very long time after having that ablation. It took me about 3 years to feel anywhere near normal. I could never bend over to pick something up - I would get a wave of dizziness and then the PACs would start. Sometimes I'd be stubborn and just push on with the dizziness (e.g., gardening and bending over) and then feel absolutely horrid afterward.

However, the migraines have gone away. I attributed this to going off gluten. I did that when I found I am gluten intolerant in 2004 (I produce the antibodies). Prior I had migraines very, very frequently. I also take magnesium regularly and I think that helped as well. My migraines were very severe - I would be in bed in pain for days sometimes. The Imitrex was like heaven to me.

I'll let you all know about the bubble study results. Just wanted to fill in others in case they have similar issues.

If it's positive I don't know if I'll get it fixed. I just don't want to take the chance I may have more issues after.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/12/2016 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I am 47 years old and started having horrible migraines at around 13 with a frequency increasing as I got older. I would lose vision good vision for about 5 minutes and the headaches would last usually 2 days. Sometimes getting another while recovering from one. Over the years I found different things that would be triggers and changed diet and behavior to help avoid having them. I gave myself injections when I got them as this would be the only way to get through them. At 38 years old, I woke up one morning with what I thought was the same thing. Losing vision I was proactive and took some aspirin because I was out of Tylenol and didn't want to use the injection yet. Went back to bed and couldn't sleep so thought I would start my day early and went to get up. I immediately fell down and the room was spinning extremely fast. I woke up my wife and she got me back in bed and called 911. Long story short, after many hours it was found to be a stroke, at 38. I mentioned the migraines to the neurologist and he said they were probably "mini strokes". He got me into a study which qualified me for a PFO closure without having to wait for another stroke. I have made a complete and full recovery and have not had a single migraine since.
I thought I would tell my story in hopes it would help somebody with the same or similar issues.
Best decision I ever made.
Good luck.

Ambreen Jaiya
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/9/2016 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
This is for all those who have got their PFO closure done. Can you name the device that was used? I'm still consulting doctors on whether I need it.

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted Today 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Ambreen Jaiya said...
This is for all those who have got their PFO closure done. Can you name the device that was used? I'm still consulting doctors on whether I need it.

Ambreen, I had this procedure done a week ago tomorrow, December 5, at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA. Device used: Gore Cardioform Septal Occluder. I'm feeling fine so far. On Plavix for two weeks, and low-dose aspirin for life. Wish you the best.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/27/2017 11:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone who had pho closure long ago. How are you feeling now? Have the palpitations, tachycardia, migraines, arrhythmia gone?
I am scheduled for this operation for the day after tomorrow. I had an ischemic stroke 4 years ago. There are three possible reasons: migraine, hyper blood coagulation and pfo. Doctors are not sure which reason is the most evident but they recommend to exclude at least one and have the closure. I am uncertain because I have not found any information on how people feel 5, 10 and more years after the operation, and what is more important - is the risk of the stroke really minimised by this operation?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15305
   Posted 5/3/2017 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I just saw your post here. Just yesterday I was reading about PFO & from what I read this surgery is ideally for people that have had strokes & pulmonary hypertension & a few other things. The article said that migraines related to PFO was controversial & still being studied.

Good luck with your surgery. Sending healing thoughts & prayers your way.

PS: Once you have recuperated from surgery please come back & update us. You can start a new thread on this. Thanks.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Post Edited (straydog) : 5/4/2017 1:32:12 PM (GMT-6)

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