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Interventional procedures on the heart's anatomy

Patent foramen ovale (PFO) or atrial septal defect (ASD) closure

a catheter is used to put an implant into place

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) or atrial septal defect (ASD) closure is done to close a defect or hole between the upper chamber (atria) of the heart with an implant.

This may be done if you have had symptoms of a stroke.

a close-up of the implant for a PFO or ASD closure

After you have a local anesthesia, a catheter is threaded through a leg vein to the atria.

An implant (about the size of a dime) is used to close the hole.


Valvuloplasty uses a catheter to open a valve that is narrowed. A balloon-tipped catheter is threaded through an artery in the leg and passed to the heart valve.

Then the balloon is inflated to separate the valve flaps and reopen it.

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP)

Air pressure cuffs are placed on your calves, thighs and buttocks. The pumping (inflation and deflation) is timed with your heartbeat to increase blood flow to your heart and ease your heart's workload.

Each treatment lasts 60 to 90 minutes for 5 days a week for 7 weeks. Over time, the EECP may stimulate the opening of or create small branches of blood vessels (called collaterals) to create a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries.



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts