Continue or stop diving with a PFO?

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taimen

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PFO closure is routine intervention in every European university level hospital for stroke patients. Since most European countries have universal public healthcare which covers indications like stroke prevention, there isn't wide availability for such procedures in private clinics. I'd expect out of pocket cost to be in the range of 10-20k€ in Northern Europe, but that is a very rough guess since this is not a common out of pocket procedure.
 

scubadada

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PFO closure is routine intervention in every European university level hospital for stroke patients. Since most European countries have universal public healthcare which covers indications like stroke prevention, there isn't wide availability for such procedures in private clinics. I'd expect out of pocket cost to be in the range of 10-20k€ in Northern Europe, but that is a very rough guess since this is not a common out of pocket procedure.
That seems in line with the cost used in cost effectiveness studies in the US
 

tridacna

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He is from Norway. Not EU but still in Europe...
Your point? I assume different healthcare systems. Living in Europe does not mean anyone in the EU (or Europe) can use KVG in Switzerland or the NHS in the UK. Are THEY going to cover the cost of his PFO repair? I think not.
 

Angelo Farina

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Really appreciate the replies from all of you. I think now, with the current status of covid and everything, going abroad to get it fixed isn’t really an option. At least not for me. Maybe I’ll look into it when things calm down a bit. In the meantime I think I have to carefully decide on what to do. Maybe I’ll be my own guinea pig and see how a very conservative approach to normal ndl diving would work out.
Actually NDL diving can be more stressfull and dangerous than deco diving properly planned with adequate conservatorism.
Most people think, wrongly, that staying "just within" NDL limit is fully safe, whilst going into deco realm is "tech" and much more dangerous.
If you read in previous page, another diver with PFO reported to having been slightly bent on dives on the edge of NDL (slightly within or slightly beyond), and instead no problems with much longer dives with long planned deco and very slow ascent.
I have also a reasonable explanation for this, based on the fact that for long deco dives the commanding tissues are the slow ones, which have less interaction with the presence of a PFO.
Instead diving with NDL the commanding tissues are the fast ones (where blood perfusion is strong), hence the presence of a PFO is more strictly affecting the risk of DCS.
So, in your case, simply staying "just with NDL" does not appear a "safe enough" approach.
 

Angelo Farina

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Your point? I assume different healthcare systems. Living in Europe does not mean anyone in the EU (or Europe) can use KVG in Switzerland or the NHS in the UK. Are THEY going to cover the cost of his PFO repair? I think not.
I do not know with certainty in other EU countries. But here in Italy even illegal immigrates are treated for free in our hospitals...
In many cases we have people risking their life on boats crossing the Mediterranean because they have illness which cannot be treated in their countries (mostly in Africa) and they know that if they manage to arrive here, they will be treated.
 

rddvet

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Really appreciate the replies from all of you. I think now, with the current status of covid and everything, going abroad to get it fixed isn’t really an option. At least not for me. Maybe I’ll look into it when things calm down a bit. In the meantime I think I have to carefully decide on what to do. Maybe I’ll be my own guinea pig and see how a very conservative approach to normal ndl diving would work out.
I am in no way giving medical advice, but i dove for years with a pfo and many friends did as well. I was pretty sure I had one, but an echo several years ago was negative. It took the right cardiologist to find it
 

tridacna

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I do not know with certainty in other EU countries. But here in Italy even illegal immigrates are treated for free in our hospitals...
In many cases we have people risking their life on boats crossing the Mediterranean because they have illness which cannot be treated in their countries (mostly in Africa) and they know that if they manage to arrive here, they will be treated.
Spurious talk of emigrants. We're talking about an elective procedure in Norway here. OP can stop diving, remember? Norway has an excellent healthcare system. If a doctor thought that it was life threatening, I strongly suspect that they would cover it.
 
OP
Frogman82

Frogman82

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Spurious talk of emigrants. We're talking about an elective procedure in Norway here. OP can stop diving, remember? Norway has an excellent healthcare system. If a doctor thought that it was life threatening, I strongly suspect that they would cover it.

The cardiologist basically told me that diving is not considered a human right, so they won't do the procedure (I can stop diving). They are backed up now also, so the waiting list for PFO closures for stroke patients was up to a year.
 

ginti

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I do not know with certainty in other EU countries. But here in Italy even illegal immigrates are treated for free in our hospitals...
True, but that happens only when they are risking their life - that is, they have free access to the "pronto soccorso" (emergency departments) or to the standard hospital doctors if their problem is serious and potentially life-threatening (e.g. diabetes or stuff like that). The OP is far from any of these conditions...

Spurious talk of emigrants. We're talking about an elective procedure in Norway here. OP can stop diving, remember? Norway has an excellent healthcare system. If a doctor thought that it was life threatening, I strongly suspect that they would cover it.
I agree with you, I doubt any system will cover the expenses since there is no life-threatening issue. [EDIT: although sometimes non-life-threatening conditions are threated free, they must seriously affect the *daily* quality of life of a person].

But, in general, European countries all have similar healthcare systems, which are very different from the US one (no insurance, cheap prices), and sometimes it is possible to have the surgery privately, at (way) lower prices than the US. Also, it is reasonable to travel from one country to another (at least, without the pandemic).

This is why it makes sense to speak about European options in this case, while US options make little sense.
 
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