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Thread: PFO to close or not to close...

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    RBW Member Reefhugger is an unknown quantity at this point Reefhugger's Avatar
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    PFO to close or not to close...

    I was recently diagnosed with a PFO and in the process of deciding whether to get it closed or not. I am interested in divers who have a PFO discussing how (as the patient) they came to their decision about whether to have it closed or not. What factors did you consider? What were your biggest concerns? Are you satisfied with your decision?

    Any information is appreciated.

    Bruce Robertson

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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    Maybe try to contact Gareth Lock in the UK (I dont have his email but I am sure some do and you can search him, his login is usually "GLOCK")

    He had one fixed this year I think and wrote quite extensively about it.

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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...


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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    Quote Originally Posted by Reefhugger  View Original Post
    I was recently diagnosed with a PFO and in the process of deciding whether to get it closed or not. I am interested in divers who have a PFO discussing how (as the patient) they came to their decision about whether to have it closed or not. What factors did you consider? What were your biggest concerns? Are you satisfied with your decision?

    Any information is appreciated.

    Bruce Robertson
    hi bruce, this subject is near and dear to my heart!!! get it, ok bad joke.
    i found out a few years ago i had a PFO. i found out on a wednesday and had it closed the following tuesday. for me it was not an option to even consider the closure. diving is my happy place and if i cant dive well i would have a hard time being happy. i took a bunch of hits. since my closure i have had only one slight skin bend and that was after being really really bad. so for me the closure was a complete success and my diving has changed. i now dont fear getting out of the water like i use to. that all said, the closure is not curative for all, i was a lucky one who it was. i also had a great surgeon. i know doug will talk to you, so make sure to talk to him. also you may run into several doctors who will not close it as they say the risks are greater than the reward. so you need to decide for yourself if diving is important to your happiness and then decide. feel free to email me if you want to talk more about it. good luck and safe diving
    mel
    scubagrunt@gmail.com
    ps if you are living in FL make the trip to lakeland and see doug. he has done this serveral (maybe several hundred) times for divers and really understands the cardiology and diving aspect most cardiologists dont get the diving end of it. heck i flew out from seattle to lakeland to have mine fixed.
    Last edited by scubagrunt; 8th October 2010 at 06:47.

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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    I had mine closed after a type 2, it wasn't so that I could dive again (honest love) it was to help prevent a stroke later in life. I'm diving again and I feel heaps better post dive. Get it plugged would be my advice.

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    RBW Member gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas is a glorious beacon of light gtzavelas's Avatar
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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    my PFO is small.

    I discovered it by luck (exams for life insurance) . At the time I was already diving diving for 10 years (including 100m dives, cave dives with aggressive yo-yo profiles)
    No problems with migraines etc

    The doc's evaluation (small size + no problem for 10 years) was not to close it...

    Still OK after 5 years...

    So I guess there is no clear answer ... it all depends on the specific

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    RBW Member DannyB. is an unknown quantity at this point DannyB.'s Avatar
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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    Hi @ all,
    I had closed my PFO (diameter 8mm) in 2003 and since I had no more DCS sympthoms. Another option? -> ask Rick Stanton (yours faithfully!!)

    Re-gards!

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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    By the way, guys, here is another plug for the study I am doing with DAN. We are looking for anyone who is a diver, has had DCS, and is known to have a PFO -- regardless of whether or not the diver elected to have it closed or left alone. All of the information is at DAN: Divers Alert Network - Scuba Diving and Dive Safety Association. We are just gathering baseline information and then following divers for 5 years to see what happens. As there is very little data on the subject we hope this will help us to make more informed recommendations to divers in the future.

    Okay, I'm now off my soapbox! Mel -- thanks for the kind words. See you in cave country next Friday!

    Doug

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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    Bruce,

    This DAN article explains things pretty well.

    Patent Foramen Ovale - Is It Important to Divers?

    Andy

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    RBW Member pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476's Avatar
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    Re: PFO to close or not to close...

    Quote Originally Posted by gtzavelas  View Original Post
    my PFO is small.

    I discovered it by luck (exams for life insurance) . At the time I was already diving diving for 10 years (including 100m dives, cave dives with aggressive yo-yo profiles)
    No problems with migraines etc

    The doc's evaluation (small size + no problem for 10 years) was not to close it...

    Still OK after 5 years...

    So I guess there is no clear answer ... it all depends on the specific

    Ditto here. Same diving habits. Mine was so small it only let one or two small bubbles one time out of the two times the fizzy water was injected. The doctor couldn't find an actual hole.

    All that to say it's not black and white and I chose not to do anything. I believe that overall circulatory system health, conditioning, and capacity is likely to be more critical. In my case the PFO is a non-issue.

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