Macquarie University Hospital cardiologists now perform ASD and PFO closures with a new minimally invasive procedure – and look to evidence demonstrating the benefits of such closures at a young age.


Macquarie University Hospital has taken another step forward in its structural heart program with proceduralists successfully closing Atrial Septal Defects (ASDs) and Patent Foramen Ovales (PFOs) percutaneously.


ASD – or its smaller version the PFO – can lead to the heart being overloaded and may allow oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood to mix. If not treated, atrial arrhythmia, pulmonary hypertension, stroke or heart failure can result.

Although PFOs can go undetected until adulthood, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates that closing these defects at a young age is beneficial in patients who have had strokes.

“Surgical closure for ASD/PFO had long been considered the definitive treatment, but percutaneous closure is now considered the treatment of choice,” explained Associate Professor Andy Yong, who jointly introduced the program to Macquarie University Hospital in 2015.

“Given recent evidence of the benefits of closing atrial defects, minimally invasive treatments make more sense than ever before.

“This really is the new world standard, with advantages including a high sealing rate, an overall shorter procedure and a reduced hospital length of stay.”