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Castle Considering Outpatient Surgery

October 21, 2006

Rep. Mike Castle is <a href=”″>considering an outpatient surgery</a> within 4-6 weeks due to a condition called <a href=””>Patent Foramen Ovale</a>. PFO is a congenital heart disease where a small hole in the atrial septum (the wall between the atria) never closed after birth. In utero, this hole ised to bybass bloodflow to the lungs, since the baby gets it’s oxygen from the mother, and it normally closes within the first year. A PFO can allow clots directly into the coronary atery, causing a heart attack or into out of the heart and into the brain, causing a stroke.

According to Dr. Sandy Shah, DO in a <a href=””>June 2005 article on PFO</a>:

<blockquote>The recurrence rate of stroke or transient ischemic attack has been reported to be as high as 3.4-3.9% per year.</blockquote>

If, indeed, the procedure that Rep. Castle is considering is outpatient, then it’s a procedure where the catheter goes from a leg, the neck, or the groin (eep!) which carries a device to either side of the hole, sandwiching it into place. Heart tissue then grows around the insert, making it a part of the heart.

The alternative is cardiac surgery, which is “invasive, costly, and painful, and is associated with all the usual risks of cardiac surgery.” (taken from Dr. Shah’s article.

Rep. Castle, if you happen to be one of the two people who will read this, please take a moment to prioritize. Why risk your health to continue doing a job that someone else can breathe new life into? Whether you have 2 or 20 years to go, wouldn’t you like to spend them in relative peace with your family than battling it out in the House? This would be a terribly easy decision for me.

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