Migraines can be stopped with heart surgery, say city experts

Long-term migraine headaches can be linked to congenital heart disease, local medical experts said.

You’ve advised people dealing with migraines to have their heart checked if doctors can’t find a cause in the brain or nervous system.

The council was inspired by the case of a 60-year-old woman who attended Shanghai Yueyang Hospital for Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine for relief from 30 years of migraines.

Doctors advised her that the headache could be related to a heart problem.

An examination of her heart confirmed that she suffered from an open foramen ovale (PFO), a hole between the left and right atria of the heart.

The hole exists in everyone before birth, but often closes shortly after birth. It’s called a PFO when it doesn’t close naturally after a baby is born.

“PFO is a congenital heart defect and affects around 20 to 25 percent of adults,” said Dr. Chen Tongyu from the Yueyang Hospital Heart Center.

“Most people do not have symptoms, but those with complications such as migraines with an unknown cause, nausea, fatigue, or stroke should see the hospital for a check-up,” said Chen.

Chen performed a minimally invasive operation on the woman in which a wire was inserted into the femoral vein, reached the heart, and the hole was blocked with a special locking device. The process only left a stitch hole on her body.

The traditional way to deal with a PFO involved full surgery, which could lead to complications like infection, said Dr. Zhou Jia, President of Yueyang.

“The development of interventional medicine can solve some congenital heart problems through a minimally invasive approach for the benefit of patients,” he said.

Ti Gong

Doctors insert a wire into the femoral vein to block the patient’s PFO.