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Old 04-28-2005, 12:55 PM   #1
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Question Anyone here with complication free PFO?

I have a PFO (patent foramen ovale) that has been deemed "clinically insignificant". There's very little shunting from left-to-right with no thrombi detected (according to a TEE performed in Jan. 05).

I hear that up to 30% of the population has PFOs and most are complication free. Is it typical to live a normal life with such a congenital heart defect?

 
Old 04-29-2005, 11:24 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone here with complication free PFO?

I am a 41 yr. old female with an ASD measuring 2.5cm. I Started having some symptoms at the age of about 30 and progressively getting worse until December when i started to show signs of pulmonary hypertention and congestive heart failure. Diagnosed in February with congenital heart defect which i am having surgery for next week. Up until about 5 years ago, i was very healthy and up until December i actually looked pretty healthy, although i had many symtoms and complaints that they felt were due to anxiety and nothing more. I guess it depends on the size of the hole as to when and if you will be symptomatic. I have heard of some people who require no intervention and have few symtoms, if any. Although i have spoke with MANY who eventually develop symptoms bad enough to need it repaired. I was told by the cardiologist that i was considered old to be having this repaired and what has happened as a result of not having it treated sooner is that my heart is now very enlarged and I have developed atrial fib. and pulmonary hypertention and CHF. These are complications of not having it repaired when you really need it repaired. Most of the damage that is done to my heart is irrevirsable but patching up the hole will prevent further problems and it's likely i will still have some degree of pulmonary hypertention and this may end up to be more of a problem down the road. I do know some one who is 46yr. male and has known for many years of his hole which is small and he has not had any problems. He has always lived a very healthy and active lifestyle and for now he just gets it checked every 1-2 yrs. he has really taken care of himself over the years and i think this certainly would contribute to his living comfortable with his defect. I think to myself that if i had known about this defect 25 yrs. ago, i may have made some better lifestyle choices as i can see know that this could be problem for me. I haven't exactly spent the last 25yrs. supressing any urges i may have had and even now i continue to smoke. Promised myself i would quite next week when i go into hospital. Anyways this is just my experience but if you read up on it you will see some of the things i am saying. How big is your ASD? Did the cardiologist decide to just monitor it or wait till you develop symtoms? How old are you? The good thing for you is that if they decide to wait until you become symtomatic then at least they can reassess you in a timely manner and do the repair before you develope secondary complications. If you look up the FDA it gives you the requirements and indications needed for surgical repair if ASD's. Good luck

 
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone here with complication free PFO?

Quote:
Originally Posted by born2bwild
...
I replied to you, regarding this issue, on the PFO Diagnosis and TEE Report thread.

 
Old 05-05-2005, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone here with complication free PFO?

I was diagnosed with PFO after I had a migraine stroke.
I am currently on heart medication for hypertension (fluctuating).
I also have an anxiety/panic/phobia disorder that I am being treated for.
I often wonder if my anxiety problem could be related to the PFO.
I am in my late 50's and other than my anxiety, feel good.
The cardiologist told me that although most close- up a birth some don't.
Does anyone else that may have a PFO, have any anxiety-related symptoms?
Good Luck.

 
Old 05-06-2005, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone here with complication free PFO?

Quote:
Originally Posted by portland
I often wonder if my anxiety problem could be related to the PFO.

Most babies born have a PFO that closes after a few weeks. About 25% of these babies will continue to have PFOs that never closed on their own - like you and me. It's a congenital defect - not an anxiety related one. However, high BP can cause your heart to work harder and even cause a larger shunt (blood flow through the PFO). Therefore, it's crucial you take care of yourself, especially when you have a PFO (or ASD/VSD). You want to give your heart as much help as possible.

Are you anxious because of your PFO? That could be the case. But, you have not worry about as your worry can contribute to a new symptom: high BP. More than 90% of people with PFOs live normal life expectancies and without complications. So, the statistics are in our favor.

I DO suffer from anxiety from time-to-time; however, it's NOT because of my PFO - it's because of my MIND! I make myself worry about health related issues and, therefore, cause my BP to spike.

 
Old 05-06-2005, 03:13 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone here with complication free PFO?

Thanks for the input.
No, I do not worry about having the PFO, in fact I rarely think of it.
My anxiety has been with me since childhood.
I have white-coat syndrome, as my blood pressure is always normal at home, when I'm relaxed.Shoots up high at the doctors.
Other than anxiety and migraine headaches, I never would have known about the PFO, if I hadn't needed testing for those problems.
I was just curious if anxiety could be related to the PFO, where I've had problems with it, since early childhood.
Take care.

 
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