At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
There are at UHN:
Holes in the heart can be present from birth and may allow a blood clot from the right atrium to go to the left atrium, and then through your circulation system to the brain. This causes a mini-stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).
PFO Septal Occluders are a double disc design that is made of surgical grade Dacron and a metal alloy. We insert the occluder through a tube in your leg and then place the occluder in your heart to close the hole.
The Patient & Family Education Program at UHN offers valuable resources to help you understand your condition.
Visit our Health Information section to find dedicated resources to help you understand your condition.
Find the information you're looking for.
We will do a special echocardiogram called a
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE), to determine if the Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is suitable for this kind of closure. After the results are available, you'll meet with the doctor for a review of the procedure and be able to ask questions. We will talk to you about the potential risks and alternatives.
If you decide to go ahead, we'll give you an appointment for the procedure and book you to attend the Pre-Admission Cardiology Clinic. Here you will meet one of our nurses and have blood work done to prepare you.
Please do not eat or drink anything for 6 to 8 hours before your PFO Closure.
Please bring with you a list of your current medications. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamin or mineral supplements and herbal remedies.
A friend or family member is required to be present in the lab during the procedure. You will be sedated during this procedure. The friend or family member will be instructed on how to care for you after the procedure and be required to drive and/or accompany you home. They can also help you gather information, take notes and ask questions.
Your procedure will be done in the
Cardiovascular Investigations Unit but you will be admitted to the Cardiac Short Stay Unit on the 5th Floor Munk Building on the morning of your procedure.
When you arrive at the Cardiac Short Stay Unit, check in at the reception desk. Please have the following ready:
Your procedure will be done shortly after you arrive. Your doctor will see you at that time.
When you check-in, the receptionist will give you a name band to wear. You will be assigned a room to wait and asked to change into a hospital gown. Your family should keep your valuables with them.
A nurse will prepare you for the procedure by reviewing a checklist, starting an IV and confirming your medications.
When it's time for your procedure an attendant will take you down to the
Cardiovascular Investigations Unit.
We do your procedure under local anesthetic in the groin area. You'll be given a sedative and painkiller intravenously to keep you relaxed and comfortable. Then we put a small catheter or tube into your vein at the groin site. It goes through the right atrium, and then through the hole to reach the left atrium.
The occluder is attached and folded so that it fits within the tube. The folded occluder is passed through the tube until it goes through the defect. One disc is opened on the left atrial side of the defect, and the other disc is opened on the right atrial side. This completely covers the hole like a patch, with the central stem joining the two discs passing through the small hole.
After you're awake, the doctor will discuss the outcome of the procedure with you. We'll tell your family when it's done, and they can see you after the procedure is over. You'll be discharged about 6 hours later.
You will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment 8 - 12 weeks after your procedure. Your appointment will be in the Adult Congenital Cardiac Clinic. After that, your own cardiologist can follow you. Routine Electrocardiogram and surface echocardiogram will be done from time to time as part of your follow-up.
The procedure usually takes 30 minutes. You are then returned to your room.
We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your procedure may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.