Patent Foramen Ovale Repair

What it's for

A patent foramen ovale repair, or closure, is a procedure that's done to close the flap in the wall of the atrial septum, also called a patent foramen ovale. During this procedure, a catheter with a closure device is inserted through the leg vein up to the heart, where the device is left to close up the flap.

How it's done

Prior to the procedure, a patient will have a cardiac catheterization to access the exact size and location of the defect. During the procedure, a closure device is attached to a catheter, which is inserted into a vein in the groin and advanced to the heart and through the defect with the assistance of X-ray and intracardiac echo. The cardiologist will push the closure device out of the catheter slowly so that it opens to cover each edge of the defect, sealing it closed. Over time, scar tissue grows over the closure device and it becomes part of the heart.

Currently there are no FDA-approved devices for PFO closure, however, the devices used close PFOs are currently approved to treat other conditions such as Atrial Septal Defects.


Risks for PFO closure are very small but include:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • damage to the heart
  • heart rhythm problems
  • device embolization (moving to the wrong place)
  • stroke

Technology and expertise at URMC

URMC Cardiology excels at nonsurgical ASD and PFO closure and is the only center in the region currently able to provide this treatment. We report the highest volumes in upstate New York.

Additionally, we participate in clinical research and are able to offer our patients access to a range of clinical trials. URMC physicians are currently involved in PFO closure studies for stroke and migraine.

Who to contact

For more information on PFO Repair at URMC, contact us at (585) 275-6161.

PFO Repair Instructions

Medicine of the Highest Order