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Is the closure of hole in the heart risky at old age?

Q: I am a 74-year-old woman. I was diagnosed with a 50 mm hole in my heart 6 years ago. Why do the doctors refuse to fix it? Is this a discrimination in the age or is it too risky for operation?

A:I am afraid I am not in a position to give categorical answer to your query because I am not having full clinical details. In general however, closure of a hole in the heart at the age of 74 years is not advisable, as the hole is not likely to give any problem to you, if it has not given any till now. Also, open heart surgery at the age of 74 years has certain risks, which may outweigh the benefits to be derived from closing the hole.

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