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Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)


Call (718) 283-7364 for an appointment with a Structural Heart specialist or request an appointment online.


Before birth, a baby’s heart has an opening in the form of a tissue flap between the two upper chambers. This opening is referred to as the foramen ovale and allows blood containing oxygen from the mother to bypass the baby’s lungs which are not yet fully developed. When the baby is born this tissue flap usually closes and is completely sealed within three months of birth. When the foramen ovale remains open it is called a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO).

In rare cases this PFO can allow a blood clot to pass from the right side of your heart to the left side of your heart and then travel to the brain where it can result in causing a stroke. There are various ways to prevent the stroke.

See treatment options for PFO >>


  • Echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound)

  • Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)