Can you go scuba diving with a hole in your heart?

In a diver with a PFO, the bubbles can pass to the left chamber of the heart and be carried in the arteries back around the body. If they get into the tissues then the diver might get decompression sickness (the bends), even when diving within the normal decompression limits.

Can you scuba dive with a hole in your heart?

Yes, but you might be at an elevated risk of DCS. If you have severe decompression sickness or repeated episodes of skin DCS, you should get tested before continuing to dive. It is important to remember that not all divers with a PFO get DCS, but it could be a risk factor.

Why can’t you go scuba diving with a hole in your heart?

If you have a PFO, an Arterial Gas Embolus is more likely as the hole in the heart can act as a “bypass” mechanism for bubbles into the arterial blood system. Therefore, making it more likely that you will get Decompression Illness.

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What medical conditions can stop you from scuba diving?


Underlying respiratory conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or a history of spontaneous pneumothorax, can challenge the breathing capacity required of divers.

Can you scuba dive after open heart surgery?

Anyone who has had open-chest surgery needs appropriate medical evaluation prior to scuba diving. After a period of stabilization and healing (6-12 months is usually recommended), the individual should have a thorough cardiovascular evaluation prior to being cleared to dive.

Should I get my PFO closed?

If you have, then closing the hole can reduce the risk of recurrent strokes. If the PFO is sizable, it may allow large amounts of blood to move back and forth between the left and right sides of your heart. This can create pressure and cause your heart to enlarge. Closing the PFO can protect your heart’s function.

What is a PFO?

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a small opening between the two upper chambers of the heart, the right and the left atrium. Normally, a thin membranous wall made up of two connecting flaps separates these chambers. No blood can flow between them.

What does skin bends look like?

Its primary symptom is a swelling of the skin, most often on the chest or arms. Swollen areas will have a pitted appearance, like the skin of an orange, and may be painful. If a swollen area is pressed lightly with the tip of a finger, the resulting indentation will remain for a few moments.

Can you skydive with PFO?

PFOs also can cause problems in patients who are scuba diving or skydiving – activities that can cause a blood clot to move through the PFO to the brain, resulting in stroke.

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What are symptoms of PFO?

What are the Risks and Symptoms of Patent Foramen Ovale? Most patients with a PFO do not have any symptoms. However, the condition may play a role in migraine headaches and it increases the risk of stroke, transient ischemic attack and heart attack. Patients with a PFO may have migraine headaches with aura.

Can you get a blood clot from scuba diving?

Diving is an activity where the risk of trauma is quite high and a person taking blood thinners who suffers trauma has a significant risk of a massive bleed.

Diving Considerations.

Clinically suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT) 3
Alternative diagnosis less likely than PE 3
Rapid heart rate 1.5

When should you not dive?

Basic scuba diving safety is that your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good working order. A person with heart trouble, a current cold or congestion, epilepsy, asthma, a severe medical problem should not dive. Another time not to dive is if your ears or nose are not clear.

Can I scuba dive with AFib?

Some divers with AFib can dive, but individuals who experience recurring episodes of AFib, and individuals on certain medications that can be used to treat AFib, should avoid diving. Extrasystole is a condition in which heart beats occur outside of the heart’s regular rhythm.

Is scuba diving bad for your health?

Can I be seriously hurt while scuba diving? Yes. The most dangerous medical problems are barotrauma to the lungs and decompression sickness, also called “the bends.” Barotrauma occurs when you are rising to the surface of the water (ascent) and gas inside the lungs expands, hurting surrounding body tissues.

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Can I scuba dive with high blood pressure?

Having high blood pressure puts you at increased risk whilst diving. It is a major risk factor for having a heart attack or a stroke, both of which could be fatal underwater. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the body, and the heart muscle itself.