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Griffey
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a 44 year old male who had a cryptogenic stroke. I am extreemly active and lead a very athletic life... I have a PFO approximately 5 millimeters in diameter. While I have no viable damage from my stroke, I have lost about 5 -8 % of my brain in two different lobes. I am truley lucky.... I am on Coumadin and Zocor.

Close or not to close........ That is the question....

Any thoughts????


Griff...

Neurogurl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 3/15/2008 6:28 PM (GMT -7)   

hi Griff-

I know you gave the size of your PFO but is that considered small, medium, or large? I have a very small PFO according to the docs and they only recommended I take a baby aspirin..the bad thing with me is that I have a genetic clotting disorder called factor V Leiden. Do you get heart palpitations? Thanks


cabikerun
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 3/15/2008 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey neurogirl,
what size is your PFO? I thought I had read 1-2 mm is considered small.
are you on coumadin for your clotting disorder? It seems you should be, if not. (or an anti-coagulant). Aspirin is an anti-platelet, so probably won't help there. I got major palpitations with the PFO. I am still healing from surgery, so hoping they do disappear.
Good luck.

TEXAS!
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/16/2008 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a active 44 year old female with 4mm PFO. The amount of shunting at rest was 50-50 and was "impressive" according to my dr. I have had a small stroke leading to white lesions on my brain. We have been told that it must be closed either by transcath or surgery. We are seeing three cardiologists and a neurologist to make sure we are well informed and chose the right dr. We have been told very emphatically that it is very important to make sure that the dr. that performs the procedure needs to have done many many of them (as many of you have said).

My questions to cabikerun is what did they tell you about exercise? I don't think mine will be as complicated as yours, but who knows. How is the recovery from surgery? I have heard it is horrid, but you know how that can vary from one person to another.

buffalogirl18
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/24/2008 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
hi, I am 34 years old, female, just had my PFO closed 1 week ago through cardiac cath procedure, my PFO was 10mm, I had 2 TIA episodes back in OCt/NOv 07, very scary, am on Topamax for chronic migraines, and Plavix as well, Docs keeping me on both meds, and I also suffer from BiPolar Disorder. Topamax is also being used as a mood stabilizer for bipolar, and has been quite successful thus far. The procedure for the closure was done under general anastesia, so I didn't feel a thing. We went back and forth for several months about whether or not to do the closure, but being young, married, and having two small children, I didn't want to risk a full blown stroke or a heart attack, the thought of leaving the PFO open was not an option for me, especially because through blood tests I was found to be genetically resistant to both aspirin and Plavix! I have to take 1000mg of vitamin C daily along with my Plavix to help my body to absorb it, and I still do not get the full health benefit of the medication, so even on it, I still run the risk of throwing a clot, it just reduces my risk. I am recovering well, but I expected to hit the 1 week mark after the procedure and feel like a new person. Anyone out there recovering like me? I still tire easily, and have little flutters/palpatations, but from what I have read on other threads it seems to be par fpr the coarse. I sometimes get that feeling like a "chicken bone" is stuck in my chest and I can't get it out, but from what I hear it is just my brain not realizing the patch is supposed to be there, and in time my brain will forget that it is there. I hope that is true! My hole is 10mm, the patch is 20mm, so the patch itself is about the size of a quarter. I also have one other problem working against me-- I have a nickel allergy! I can't wear any jewelry that isn't gold or silver or I break out in a serious rash, but my doctor used a closure device called the Gore-helex, which has much less nickel- titanium or nitinol as they call it, and it is supposed to be safer. Anyone out there have the nickel allergy or know anything about it?

CatMom5
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 4/2/2008 1:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Griffey, I am currently going through the very same thing. I had a TIA on 2/20/2008 and was diagnosed with a large PFO along with an ASA. I am currently on coumadin and aspirin therapy. I am seeing a PFO specialist on Friday. I'm really hoping that I am a viable candidate for the closure procedure. I really do not want to spend the rest of my life on coumadin or worrying about another TIA or stroke. Is there a reason you wouldn't want the procedure?

VN2000
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/10/2008 4:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Amy, I read your other posts and am sorry that you're having trouble with the PFO closure. I will pray that everything goes well for you. I had my PFO closure done on Jan 29 and have to go back April 29 to find out if the patch worked or not. Any discomfort makes me feel that the stroke is occuring again. It's scary and I think I have this mental setting in my head which will never go away. I hope it does. It's scary! I will report back and let you know what happens during my appiontment. In my earlier post, I'd mentioned that I had an allergic reaction to the Plavix and was put in 325mg of Aspirin. I'm not taking any other medication and I hope the lack of blood thinner doesn't cause the stroke to happen again. Please do let us nkow how it goes for you. I hope all goes well.

MrsMedic
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/18/2008 8:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all, I am new here. I was just diagnosed with a moderate sized PFO. I had a small stroke in December, that has left me with some minimal right sided weakness, and some memory issues, and slight balance problems.

The doctor recommended repairing the PFO.
My question is on how much does it cost for the repair of a PFO with a device? My insurance only covers 70% of surgery and hospital costs.

Also how often do you have to get a TEE done following the repairs? Are you on Plavix or coumadin for the remainder of your life once you get this procedure?

Just trying to learn as much as possible before I go to the University of Michigan for my consult.

CatMom5
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 4/19/2008 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi MrsMedic, first off, I wish you well in your recovery of your stroke! I am scheduled to get my PFO closed on the 28th of this month. I had a TIA in February and was diagnosed with the PFO and an ASA. I have been doing as much research as I can on PFOs and closure of PFOs. There's not a tremendous amount of information out there but what I have found is that every doctor seems to have a differing way of doing things. Some will do the cath procedure in the morning and you go home that night. My doc does it in the morning and you stay overnight at the hospital and are released the next afternoon. Some docs put you totally out for the procedure, my doctor wants me totally awake during the procedure. Some docs will have one catheterization site for the device and then have a TEE going at the same time to monitor the placement. My doc has two catheterization sites, one in each leg; one for the device and in the other leg is a camera/ultrasound for monitoring, no TEE. Some Docs use the Amplatzer device, my Doc is using the Gore-Helex device. Some docs will have you on Plavix for 3 months after the procedure plus aspirin for the rest of your life. My doc will have me on Plavix for 6 months after the procedure and 325mg aspirin for the rest of my life. Some docs will do follow up tests at 3 months, TCD and TTE and some will do tests at 1 month, 6 months and 1 year; chest xray, electrocardiogram and echo cardiogram. As you can see the costs would vary depending upon the process/device your Doctor is using and you won't know that until you go for your consult. Good luck in your research and consult. I know what a scary time this is for you!
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