Recently diagnosed PFO/ASD. What to do?

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skell006
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/8/2015 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 26, female, average weight, athletic. Recently, I was diagnosed with multifenstrated ASD/PFO. I have access to cardiologist due to my occupation. I am the girl that performs echocardiograms, bubble studies, and TEEs at a nearby hospital. After talking to one cardiologist, he strongly recommends to not close the hole until I have a TIA/CVA. Another cardiologist thinks I should close it. So I went to a pediatric cardiologist, who wants to close the ASD/PFO. During our consultation with the pediatric cardiologist he asked if I was allergic to nickel. As it turns out I am allergic to nickel. I cannot wear any costume jewelry, silver...etc. The closure devices that are FDA approved are made out of Nitinol. A mesh material that is 55% nickel and 45% titanium. Because I am allergic to nickel he wanted me to wear the device on my skin to see if I would have a reaction. I had a full blown allergic reaction in under 12 hours. Because of this I am afraid to use the device.

My options are:
1. Use the nickel device and possibly experience: arrhythmias, chest pain, increased migraines, pericardial effusion, etc. If allergic reaction persists then I would need emergent open heart surgery and removal of closure device. After device is removed they will close the ASD/PFO with a patch or piece of my pericardium. 2. Do open heart surgery from the get go.

I don't like either choice. Should I just stay on asprin, and monitor my heart. Maybe in a couple years there will be a better option for those suffering from allergy to nickel. Is there anyone on here with an allergy to nickel that got the pfo closure device?

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20186
   Posted 8/8/2015 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   
hi skell. the device sounds out of the question, unless there are others that are not nickel based. the op over management? if me, i would follow the advice given; however the management process, unless otherwise stated i feel is always the best practice. if this only prolongs the surgery then for sure, have the op. sorry that i can't help further as my experience was a double by-pass. many healing thoughts. others will come in with further info. just wanted to say g'day.
THE HAPPY TURTLE.

A QUOTE FROM THE HAPPY TURTLE THAT REFLECTS ME.

"COMPLEXITY IS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING MY NEEDS IN A MANNER THAT IS NEITHER DESTRUCTIVE, NOR NEGATIVE"
'

skell006
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/9/2015 6:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your kind words Happy Turtle. I'm so glad to find this forum. It is nice to share/express with like-minded people.

Currently all FDA approved medical devices such as coronary artery stents, pacemakers leads, closure devices, etc are all made from nitinol. Not much hope for anyone with an allergy to nickel.

I'm going to the Mayo Clinic in September to see if they have any options that my hospital does not offer. One thing I have on my side is time. I was born with this hole in my heart, so it can wait a little longer until I find the best plan of action to close it.

Have a splendid day.

Miss Rash
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/6/2015 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
In June 2015 I had 3 stent coronary stents after a heart attach in ER. No time for testing nickel allergy. I developed a bad bad torso rash. Only 60 mg of prednisone take the rash away. As I taper down to 7.5mg the comes back. I've changed meds. No help. I am beginning to think I allergic to the stents. Help with your advise.
Miss Rash

skell006
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/6/2015 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
You should bring up your concern with the cardiologist and demand to be allergy tested. I would request one of the stents that they used and tape it to your skin to see if you have a allergic reaction.

Also just do some research on the stents they used. If you request the Cath reports from ur hospital there should be a list of all meds/devices used. You can google them or even get in touch with the companies that make the stents.

I hope this helps. Atleast you aren't allergic to prednisone. I recently found out I have a horrible allergy to the drug. Also go see a allergist. They may be able to help you.
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