Before we dive into the details of each closure procedure, let’s start with a quick explanation of what ASD and PFO closures are. Both procedures are performed to close holes in the wall separating the two upper chambers of the heart. An ASD closure is used to close an atrial septal defect, while a PFO closure is employed to close a hole called a patent foramen ovale. 


Both of these procedures are typically minimally invasive, using cardiac catheterization to place a closure device to seal the hole. The goal of the procedures is to improve heart function and reduce the risk of heart failure, stroke, and other potential complications of a hole in the heart.


Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Closure

An ASD describes a hole in the heart that doesn’t close. It occurs when the tissue between the two upper heart chambers (the septum) doesn’t form properly. Most of the time, the hole can be closed using a transcatheter ASD closure procedure. This involves inserting a catheter into an artery and threading it up to the heart to place an ASD closure device. The device closes the hole, and eventually the tissue grows around it to create a complete seal. 


In some cases, open heart surgery may need to be performed instead of cardiac catheterization. The surgical approach can be used to place a device, a patch, or the hole may be closed with stitches.


While both procedures have high success rates, the catheter-based procedure offers a quicker recovery and fewer complications than open-heart surgery. Complications from an ASD closure include bleeding, infection, heart arrhythmia, stroke and kidney failure.


Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

Everyone is born with a small hole called a foramen ovale between the two upper heart chambers. It is there to keep blood from entering the lungs before birth, and it usually closes on its own as the tissue grows together. But in some babies, the hole doesn’t close like it should. While this is not a concern if the hole is small and causes no complications, it may require a closure procedure if it is large.


PFO closure is performed using cardiac catheterization to place a closure device in a procedure similar to ASD closure. After the procedure, the heart tissue will grow around the device over time. It can usually be performed as an outpatient procedure with less recovery time than ASD closure. Complications such as bleeding, infection, and heart arrhythmia are rare.


The team at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists consists of North Louisiana’s leading experts in cardiovascular care. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (318) 798-9400.