Preparing for your appointment

A patent foramen ovale is often discovered during imaging tests for other conditions or to look for causes of a stroke.

After a patent foramen ovale has been diagnosed, you'll likely have numerous questions for your doctor. Some questions you may want to ask include:

  • What caused this to happen?
  • How dangerous is this condition?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What are the risks of a procedure to close the patent foramen ovale?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Should activity be restricted in any way?
  • Could I have passed this condition on to my child?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
Aug. 09, 2017
References
  1. Patent foramen ovale (PFO). American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Patent-Foramen-Ovale-PFO_UCM_469590_Article.jsp#.WS85U9jrvIU. Accessed May 18, 2017.
  2. Ferri FF. Patent foramen ovale. In: Ferri's Practical Guide: Fast Facts for Patient Care. 9th ed. Mosby, an imprint of Elsevier: Philadelphia, Pa.; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 18, 2017.
  3. Hara H, et al. Patent foramen ovale. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 18, 2017.
  4. How the heart works. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd/heartworks. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  5. Messe SR, et al. Atrial septal abnormalities (PFO, ASD and ASA) and risk of cerebral emboli in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 18, 2017.
  6. Messe SR, et al. Treatment of atrial septal abnormalities (PFO, ASD, and ASA) for prevention of stroke in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 18, 2017.
  7. AskMayoExpert. Patent foramen ovale (PFO). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  8. Cutrer FM, et al. Pathophysiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of migraine in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 24, 2017.
  9. Bajwa ZH, et al. Preventive treatment of migraines in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 24, 2017.
  10. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Transcatheter therapies for structural heart disease in adults. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 24, 2017.
  11. Connolly HM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 6, 2017.