In patients with non-valvular AFib, medical research identified the area of the heart known as the left atrial appendage to be the source of stroke tissue. Anticoagulation or blood thinner has been the traditional treatment but taking the medicines is complicated, expensive and requires continuous medical monitoring. Often patients have difficulty managing these drugs or at risk for excessive bleeding because of other disease states. Physically closing the left atrial appendage can be done with different procedures.
The WATCHMAN device is a catheter based procedure available for patients with an increased risk of stroke and systemic embolism (clot traveling to vital organs and stopping blood flow or rupturing the blood vessels) for whom clot prevention medicines are not an option or not working. Catheters are inserted in the groin and a small basket is launched in the appendage and blocks the connection between the left atrial appendage clot origin and the heart’s transportation highway.
LARIAT ® Suture Delivery Device permanently closes the left atrial appendage. This is a catheter based procedure available for patients with an increased risk for stoke. Catheters are inserted in the groin and the appendage is sealed with a pre-tied suture (similar to a lasso). Once tied, the appendage turns into scar tissue and is no longer able to produce clot.
The AtriClip device excludes the left atrial appendage in a minimally invasive open procedure done by one of our CT surgeon team members. Launched with a lobster like device, the clip that occludes or blocks the appendage from connecting with the heart. Overtime the appendage necrosis or dies off and will no longer be a source for clots.