The heart's left atrial appendage (LAA) normally contracts to allow blood to flow in and out. For patients with AFib, the LAA no longer contracts in rhythm. This creates sluggish blood flow that can cause blood to pool and clot.
Patients with atrial fibrillation are often prescribed a blood thinner to prevent clotting. However, not all patients can tolerate blood thinners. These patients are the best candidates for the LARIAT® procedure.
The LARIAT® procedure is performed under general anesthesia. We insert one catheter under the patient’s rib cage and use another to guide it into place within the heart's left atrial appendage.
Once in place, the LARIAT® Suture Delivery Device tightens a loop around the base of the LAA. The loop stitch permanently seals off this tiny cavity from the rest of the heart to block blood clots from traveling to the brain. Over time, the tied-off appendage turns into scar tissue.
The LARIAT® procedure is successful in eliminating the source of blood clots in nearly 95% of patients.
- The procedure is nonsurgical, so patients avoid open-heart surgery.
- There is very little discomfort during or after the procedure.
- The recovery time is shorter, and there is less risk of complication than with open-heart surgery.
- Patients don’t need repeated doctor visits or blood tests as do patients on blood thinners.
- The procedure is a permanent, one-time solution.
- The procedure may help decrease the risk of stroke without affecting the rest of your heart.