Brandon, FL – Brandon Regional Hospital is the first hospital in Hillsborough to offer a newly-approved that can prevent or reduce the risk of strokes.

The Amplatzer PFO Occluder, a St. Jude Medical heart device, is used to reduce the risk of recurring ischemic strokes, caused by blood clots passing between the heart chambers and up to the brain.

A birth defect can often cause a hole in the heart, known as a patent foramen ovale, or PFO. The hole allows clots to pass through and travel to the brain, causing, in many cases, multiple strokes.

The AMPLATZER PFO Occluder, a result of 13 years of clinical research, is designed to seal the unwanted hole and reduce this risk.

The procedure at Brandon Regional Hospital was performed by Umesh Gowda, MD, interventional cardiologist.

“Brandon Regional Hospital is proud to be the first hospital in Hillsborough to implant this revolutionary device,” said Bland Eng, the hospital’s chief executive officer. “We make it a priority to invest in new technology that may ultimately prolong patients’ lives and enhance their quality of life,” he added.

About Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart that didn’t close the way it should after birth.

During fetal development, a small, flap-like opening – the foramen ovale – is normally present in the wall between the right and left upper chambers of the heart (atria). It normally closes during infancy. When the foramen ovale doesn’t close, it’s called a patent foramen ovale. Although it’s not uncommon to have a patent foramen ovale, most people with the condition never know they have it. The patent foramen ovale is often discovered during tests for other problems. Learning that you have a patent foramen ovale is understandably concerning, but most people never need treatment for this disorder.

Most people with a patent foramen ovale don’t know they have it because it’s usually a hidden condition that doesn’t create signs or symptoms.

About Umesh Gowda, MD

Dr. Gowda is board certified, fellowship trained in interventional cardiology at SUNY (State University of New York) Brooklyn, New York. In addition he has earned certification in endovascular medicine, vascular medicine, cardiovascular CT, and nuclear cardiology. He is a graduate of the Karnataka Medical College in India. After serving on the medical faculty in the department of internal medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, New York, he joined a practice in central Florida. He joined Bay Area Cardiology Associates in 2009.