As mentioned before, transcatheter closure of a PFO is a far less invasive procedure than open heart surgery, and causes far less downtime for the patient. A trained professional, known as an interventional cardiologist, inserts the device into the body via a small puncture in the right femoral vein and guides the device up to the heart by using echocardiography (TEE or ICE).
When TEE is used by the interventional cardiologist, general anesthesia is administered during the procedure (meaning the patient sleeps through it). If ICE is used, only moderate sedation is required (the patient is given medicine to make them feel calm and relaxed). In either case, the procedure takes between 30-90 minutes, and usually requires one day in the hospital for observation and recovery.