Pfo or not?

I had a stroke a year ago which has left some weakness on my right side. I suffer from fatigue and get by the best I can. I have so many ups and downs mainly caused by my medical appointments. Originally it was thought that as I had my stroke aged 47 i had a Pfo (flap that opens in my heart). I had a bubble echocardiogram and bubbles passed between 2 chambers of my heart so I was diagnosed with Pfo, my medication was changed. Back in July the NHS in my area recommended closure but no funds available to do the operation. After a lot of thought I decided to self fund. I attended a Transoesophageal echocardiogram this week in which I don't remember a lot as heavily sedated (only remember waking up coughing and gagging). The consultant told me after that he didn't think I have a Pfo. I now have no idea what is going on or if I am on the right medication. I also finally had my mental health assessment in July in which they confirmed I need support but there is a long waiting list and I am still waiting. I just feel it is hard enough trying to deal with the effects of a stroke without  all the added pressure of chasing people that should be helping me. Has anyone else had similar with the bubble and been told what caused it if not  Pfo as I am sure I will be waiting ages again for letters and to speak to someone?


1 Like

Hello Debbie

I had my Stroke last December and have just gone private for PFO closure. The NHS found the hole with a bubble echo, I then went private as the NHS are not funding the closure.

my consultant Dr Mark Turner Spire Hospital Bristol is fantastic and my understanding is if they saw bubbles appear in the left cha,her then you have a hole. It needs to be large for them to consider closure.

one thing the doctor did say was that he felt the bubble was the best for establishing a hole and not the Trans Echo. I have a large hole and having the closure in a week. It might be worth a second opinion if you are self funding and can still afford another scan then I would recommend an appointment with Mark Turner for his opinion! It’s a good couple of hours drive for me but worth it.

hope you get some answers soon.



Hi  it might be a good idea to contact your local stroke association group as they may be able to help you, they will listen and give advice.  Good luck, and keep asking questions you deserve to know exactly whats happening.

Thanks for this. We saw the bubbles and definitely crossed from one to other. I am just waiting for private appt now. Hope it goes well next week.

Thanks, will look into it.