DMC Modesto Staff

Doctors Medical Center Expands Cardiology Services with Unique Procedure

Moving Health Forward

Doctors Medical Center (DMC) in Modesto, California, is proud to offer numerous cardiology services to the Central Valley community, allowing residents to stay close to home while receiving treatment.

DMC recently added the Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure to its cardiology program and is the only hospital in Stanislaus County to offer this procedure. The first case was successfully completed on April 19, 2018, with Dr. Talwinderdeep Kahlon, an interventional cardiologist at the hospital’s Valley Heart Institute.

“We are proud to offer this innovative, minimally-invasive technology to the Central Valley community,” said Dr. Kahlon. “This allows us to treat and improve outcomes for PFO patients, and provide them with the care they need without having to travel to surrounding areas.”

The PFO is a small hole in the heart, typically between the upper two chambers, that did not close at birth. This opening is important prior to birth to allow oxygen-rich blood from the mother to circulate throughout the fetus. After birth, the hole usually forms a wall; however, for approximately 25 percent of people, the hole remains open, leaving a flap or tunnel. The opening can potentially allow dangerous clots to pass through the heart and up to the brain, causing a stroke. Most patients are unaware they have this condition until symptoms occur or until they have a cryptogenic stroke (a stroke from an unknown cause).

The PFO Closure is performed in a catheterization lab. A small device is delivered to the heart through the femoral vein in the patient’s groin, allowing the physician to seal the hole and reduce the risk of stroke. Before the device was invented, the only way to close the hole was through invasive surgery.

Other Tenet hospitals to offer this procedure include Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Alabama; Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital, Abrazo Arrowhead Campus and Carondelet Health Network's Heart and Vascular Institute in Arizona; Delray Medical Center and Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in Florida; and Baptist Health System in Texas.