For the first time in Portugal, a state-of-the-art technique for Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closure through vascular stitching which does not require cardiac surgery nor any device implant has been deployed. The new technique was enforced by the Cardiology Service and Haemodynamic Unit in the São João Hospital Center, in Porto.

The PFO is a congenital cardiac lesion consisting on a small opening between both heart’s atrias, which is present in over 25% of the adult population. Generally, PFO persistence in adulthood does not have a clinical impact. However, it can ease strokes and transient ischemic attacks.

The Patent Foramen Ovale closure was possible thanks to the NobleStitchTM EL System, a device that provides remote suturing and eliminates the risk of device migration, device-induced thrombosis, erosion, nickel allergy, and late onset perforation associated with a metal implant. In addition, this technique can be performed with the patient awake only with local anesthesia and without resorting to transesophageal echocardiography during the procedure.

In order to carry out the procedure, São João had the support of Dr. Gerard Martí, specialized physician on Structural Interventional Cardiology from Hospital Vall d’Hebrón (Barcelona), pioneer hospital center in this area in Spain.

You can have a look at the original São João press release here.