Andrew Wishy, DOVascular Surgery
Jairo Ramirez, MDCardiology
John Smith, MDCardiothoracic Surgery
Treating Atrial Fibrillation with the LARIAT® ProcedureAtrial fibrillation (AFib) is a common but serious heart condition. With this condition, your heart beats either too fast or too slow. These irregular heartbeats make it difficult for your heart’s chambers to work together. This condition can produce dangerous blood clots that can lead to stroke.
For patients with AFib, the LARIAT® procedure heads the list of leading-edge cardiovascular treatments. Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons at the Heart and Vascular Institute at University Health perform this minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatment to close off the heart’s left atrial appendage where blood clots frequently start. By tying off the appendage, it reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who can’t take blood-thinning medications.
Advances in Patient Outcomes and Outlooks
We continue to see tremendous outcomes in our patients who undergo the LARIAT® procedure.
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 compared to 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.
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.
What to Expect
During the LARIAT® procedure, a catheter is inserted under the patient’s rib cage and another is used to guide the high-tech device into place within the heart's left atrial appendage (LAA).
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.