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Expert Answer: Are my migraines related to my patent foramen ovale (PFO)? Will treating or closing the PFO help my migraines?

There seems to be a relationship of PFOs and migraine, particularly if there is aura. However the trials so far have been disappointing in that it is very unclear that the risks involved in the treatment justify the benefit. So very few headache experts at this point are recommending evaluation and therefore treatment for this problem.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • June Dillman
    8 years ago

    I had a stroke 2 years ago, they found a PFO didn’t know I had it till then, seems that the severness of my migraines have gone down (had a roto rooter job done on carotid) but am wondering if my migraines would totally go away with surgery for PFO, my MD doesn’t think so, (not migraine doc).

  • Tracey Ahern
    8 years ago

    hi I am 3 weeks post op I had a pfo closure…..i am getting very bad heart racing for about an hour a day… this normal pls let me know if any one has had these problems thks tracey.

  • John Gerber
    8 years ago

    I am just concerned because of T2 signal increase in the frontal lobe of people with PFO including me and others. The doctor said the T2 is multiple infarcts.

  • Dawn Marie Billings-Chapman
    8 years ago

    I get Migraines so bad that my meds don’t even help, I have to go get shots at the ER, and sometimes they don’t even help, I have had this one for 2 days now. I have never been checked for PFO, but my grandbabies have it, Does it run in the family?

  • Heather Zanitsch
    8 years ago

    Current studies indicate that a PFO may be genetic, particularly through females in the family. About 25% of the population has a PFO, and most of them are not severe enough to pose a problem.

  • Rhona Stout Hunter
    8 years ago

    I have migraine and PFO. Had the PFO corrected with a mesh implanted patch in 2005 and for several years the migraines were greatly improved but they have returned recently……curremtly back on Topamax for migraine prevention.

  • Debbie Hutcherson
    8 years ago

    I too take Topamax. I hope you feel better soon!

  • Galyn Wooldridge
    8 years ago

    Prayers for u my friend!

  • Kelly Hawley Jack
    8 years ago

    Girl… You KNOW my prayers are with you! xoxo

  • Belinda Green Baisch
    8 years ago

    Oh Rhona…I’m sorry. I get migraines, but nothing like what you go through. I will pray for you. I hope you feel better.

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