Question: Can I exercise with a hole in my heart?

Research Highlights: Adults born with a hole in their heart may lose 20% or more of their exercise capacity regardless of surgical repair. Young adults with the defect are known to have poorer exercise ability than their healthy counterparts, however, it is unclear if exercise capacity would deteriorate with age.

Can you survive with a hole in your heart?

It is very possible to live with a hole in your heart, without ever realising that its there. A patent foramen ovale, also known as a PFO, is a hole between the left and right atria (upper chambers) of the heart that we all have when we are in the womb, but this should close shortly after were born.

How can a hole in the heart be treated?

This is done during a heart procedure called a cardiac catheterization using a patch or special septal repair device that is placed permanently in the heart to cover the hole. The procedure takes about three hours to complete.

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