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Patent foramen ovale

The foramen ovale is an opening in the part of the heart that separates the upper right and left chambers (atria). In a fetus, this opening has a flap of tissue that acts like a one-way door—it allows blood to flow to the left side of the heart without going to the lungs, and it is kept open by the pressure of the blood that passes through it.

Normally, when the baby is born and takes his or her first breath, blood begins to flow through the lungs, and the foramen ovale closes within a few days. Sometimes, this opening remains open (patent) and is called a patent foramen ovale. A patent foramen ovale is also called a PFO. A PFO happens in about 2 out of 10 people.

A PFO usually does not cause problems.

If you do not have problems, such as a stroke, then typically no treatment is recommended.

A PFO might need treatment if other heart defects are present or if you had a stroke caused by a blood clot. Treatment includes a catheter procedure or surgery to close the opening in the heart.

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Dedicated to Women is doing everything we can to keep our patient population safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms including cough and fever, please do not enter. We ask that you return to your car and message your provider directly on mychart or call our triage nursing team who will work directly with your physician on the proper care coordination for your specific treatment.

Additionally, to keep our patient population and community safe during this pandemic, we ask that you bring 1 visitor with you at your appointment and no children, including newborns. 

OBGYN in Delaware