Condition: Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole that occurs between the right and left atria of the heart.

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What is a Patent Foramen Ovale?

A small flap-like opening called the foramen ovale is in the wall between the right and left upper chambers of the heart. It is essential in the womb, but normally closes after birth. A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a flap that didn’t close.

This is present in 15-25% of all people and is usually of no consequence.  It usually doesn’t create any signs or symptoms.

How to diagnose a Patent Foramen Ovale

Our expert cardiologists at OneWelbeck Heart Health use the latest technology to help diagnose the patent foramen ovale (PFO). However, it should only be looked for if you have had a stroke, decompression illness, or some other rare conditions.


Frequently Asked Questions

Conditions linked to PFO

As there are no signs or symptoms, a patent foramen ovale doesn’t cause complications. Some studies have found the disorder is more common in people with certain conditions:

Is Migraine associated with PFO?

Migraine itself has an association with PFO, but there is no convincing data that closing the PFO helps Migraine despite several research studies looking at this topic

If I have no symptoms, should I be screened for a PFO?


Condition overview
Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)