Amplatzer Device Closure

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/30/2009 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi! I am new to this forum. I have been reading a lot of the past posts on PFO closures with amplatzers and am wondering if there are any of you who have had an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) closure with the amplatzer device?

I had a 22 mm amplatzer implanted to close my ASD on July 28, 2009. In March a routine physical (with a new doctor) detected a heart murmur. More tests and then an echo that showed the ASD. I was shocked to say the least as up until then I was running and weightlifting and felt great! I have three children and was just returning to a physically demanding job after my last maternity leave. So to be feeling great physically, and having no symptoms, you can imagine how devastating it was. I was told open heart surgery or cathertization procedure with amplatzer device were my two options (I was a good candidate for the procedure, bc a lot of it depends on where the hole is on the septum etc).

Even though I had no symptoms, my right side was very dilated and the hole needed to be closed to prevent from serious complications in the future. I told my doctor I wanted to have open heart surgery bc it has been proven for 40 years to close such a defect....he told me that if he had a hole in his heart, he would have the amplatzer closure. He has been doing this procedure for over 11 years and says it is way less invasive and recovery is much quicker with no complications (or very minimal). He told me that he had one patient opt to have open heart surgery and he had infection after infection when he was healing. My cardiologist has done close to 400 amplatzer closures and has never had any serious compications occur in that time. He is very well respected and the site medical director .....based on all of my research I went with the amplazter closure.

I had the procedure 1 month ago and feel fine now. Initially I felt dizzy, faint, lightheaded. My family doctor thinks I was having a bit of panic attacks which is not unusual in a person who was under stress, and then had a trauma (surgery). (kind of like post -traumatic stress).

I just had a check up and the hole is sealed. It's hard to believe that I walked in and out of the hospital the same day and was sleeping in my bed that night with my heart fixed!! The dilation on my right side has gone down a lot! You can see the difference visually on the echo pictures from before and after....amazing.

I would love to hear from anyone else and their procedure....and how they are doing post-procedure. Thanks to everyone for their honesty and forthrightness in describing their symptoms and procedures. It has helped me a lot.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/19/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   

I am new to the board and still figuring out the whole posting thing.

I had a PFO Closure with an Amplatzer Occluder on Sept 2nd. I cannot believe it was just a couple of weeks ago.

I am a 34 year old female. No murmur since it was a PFO. Symptoms began consistently about one year ago. I began having extreme fatigue. Then, around March 2009, my Migraines with Aura became severe as well as palpitations and flutter. I realized it felt heart related. When I finally became breathless in June 2009, I went to the PCP. They hurried me through tests and a Contrast Echo showed a hole. I was paired up with an Interventional Cardiologist whose specialty is PFO closures via catheter.

I had a TEE done on August 14th and he said I was a candidate for the cardiac catheter as I had a small hole.

I have a great doctor who has the most experience in my area.

Once he did the surgery itself, he discovered that my heart had fooled him! It wasn't until the sizing balloon was inflated in the hole that he realized I still had a lot of blood passing around it. He immediately realized that my PFO was fenestrated. He described it as "silly string". The hole he had previously "seen" was just the largest of many openings. The sizing balloon was useless now so he improvised by drawing a line on the Echo screen, counting the pixels in that line, and converting that to the new and much larger sized device that I needed.

Everything went great. He said he was shocked at the size and how much blood was passing through. He told me that I should feel an immediate difference which I did. I felt great and still do! I have never had this much energy my entire life.

The downside for me is that the fatigue began about three years ago so I have really fallen out of shape. The extreme fatigue start about 6 mos ago.

I am already beginning to exercise again. I can finally make it up stairs with NO huffing and puffing.

My PFO was closed with an Amplatzer Occluder. He used a 25mm device.

I took off two weeks from work which was great because my right leg catheter site ended up with infected follicles so it did not heal enough to wear normal under garments until the end of those two weeks. Ugh.

I have had no discomfort until this past week.

I have begun to notice some mild fluttering again, like that heart-skipping a beat sensation. It was really bad before my surgery and would cause loss of breath. This is mild but gross feeling.

I see my DR again on October 8th. If I am still sensing those mild flutterings then I will see what he thinks...if they are a true arrhythmia and if I need to take meds for it. It was a bit of a bummer to feel them again, but once I put it in perspective, not bad at all.

I'm so lucky to NOT have had a stroke or even TIA. I have suffered Migraines With Aura my whole life.

So far, I am loving my Amplatzer device. I had the procedure done on Sept 2nd. I was in a room by 1pm. I was kept overnight at the Heart Hospital. Great place. I had an Echo done in the morning which showed the device still secure with no leakage. My legs looked good and I went home.

I still cannot believe that I had this done just a little over 2 weeks ago. Blows my mind. I am up and running around like normal. In fact, friends and family and coworkers are almost too overprotective when I do things.

I am back to doing mild exercise right now. I'll start with some more aggressive exercising once I have my one month follow up. My goal is to start running again! I have not been running in about four years. It had become too tiring. I had resorted to just the gym with circuit training, stationary bike, and treadmill.

Alright, I better wrap this up before it becomes a novel!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/26/2009 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell.  I have found the support, validation and encouragement that I receive here, to be so helpful and healing. I hope and trust that will be your experience as a member of the HW family.

Enkidu, thank you for sharing your story and Lifebuilder I hope Enkidu's information was helpful to you.

Stick with us both of you,




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