Atrial Septal Defect is a hole in the muscle wall in between the heart’s two upper chambers. In order to close the hole, a catheter is used to thread the perfectly sized ASD closure device through a main artery to the heart. The device is then inserted into the muscle wall hole and becomes a permanent implant.
The closure procedure for a Patient Foramen Ovale (PFO) is relatively painless and does not require any surgical incisions.
Patients are given a general or local anesthetic, and the procedure is performed under ultra sound guidance while the patient is awake. Your doctor may place an imaging probe in your mouth and move it down your to your esophagus in order to see your heart up close with an echocardiography machine.
The device used in the procedure is a wire mesh made out of nickel and a titanium alloy. The device is filled with securely sewn polyester fabric to help close the defect. Memory properties in the alloy, called Nitinol, allow it to be deformed and placed within a small catheter for insertion into the body through a large vein. Once the catheter is placed across the hole in the heart, the closure device is delivered through the catheter into the atrial chamber, where it springs back to open to its memorized shape and seals the hole.