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Coherex FlatStent - PFO Closure

The Coherex FlatStent PFO Closure System was first used on a human patient in October of 2007 in Frankfurt, Germany. The procedure was done under the direction of Interventional Cardiologist Professor Horst Sievert, M.D. The Ceherex FlatStent was used to close a heart defect commonly referred to as PFO.

PFO, or Patent Foramen Ovale is a fairly common heart defect where there is a small hole (the foraman ovale) in the atrial septum. This hole is utilized by a fetus so blood can travel from one side of the heart to the other without traveling to the lungs, which are not used in the womb.

In most cases, the foramen ovale closes at birth. If it does not for some reason, this is called a patent foramen ovale, or PFO. The PFO ends up working like a valve that opens when there is pressure inside the chest, such as when coughing, sneezing, or straining. The Coherex FlatStent is used for PFO closure in order to keep blood clots from traveling from the right atrium to the left atrium where they can end up being sent to the heart or brain. The result could be a heart attack or stroke.

Approximately 25% of the population has PFO, with a higher instances in those who have a stroke with unknown causes. Unfortunately, most patients do not exhibit any symptoms of PFO, so the need for a Coherex FlatStent is not discovered until later.

In many cases, it is a stroke that alerts doctors to the PFO. Strokes are often detected by:
  • Loss or dimming of vision
  • Trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • Loss of balance
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Sudden headache with no known cause
To diagnose a PFO, doctors may use an echocardiogram and ask the patient to cough. This increases the pressure in the right atrium and may show if blood is being pushed over to the other side.

Just because someone has the condition doesn't mean he or she needs the Coherex FlatStent PFO Closure System. If there are no problems being caused by the PFO, doctors may determine that there is no treatment required at all. If there is an issue, however, the Coherex FlatStend PFO Closure System is an excellent treatment option. The device itself has three closure mechanisms and can be repositioned or recovered later, if necessary. The small size also reduces the risk of thromboembolism in patients utilizing this technology.



Kathryn Wagner, MD

Dr. Kathryn Wagner grew up in South Texas. Since 1995, when she completed her medical training, she has had a private practice in San Antonio. Recently, a new office facility has been opened by Dr. Wagner at the historic Nix Health Care System downtown located on the fourteenth floor. In 1991, she was licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. In 1999, Dr. Wagner was Board Certified by the American College of Surgeons. Kathryn Wagner is married and is raising three children. She enjoys scuba diving, swimming, and wine tasting.
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