The LARIAT procedure uses a minimally invasive catheter procedure to close the left atrial appendage (LAA) in the heart to treat patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of heart rhythm disorder that affects the electrical system, or wiring of the heart muscle.
The left atrial appendage is a structure in the heart that excretes hormones and normalizes contracts, which help move blood flow in and out of the heart. In patients with AFib, the LAA stops contracting rhythmically, allowing blood to pool and form clots, which can lead to stroke. Patients who have AFib are often required to take blood-thinning medications as a precaution, but many have side effects and some patients have difficulty tolerating the medications.
Who Is Eligible for the LARIAT Procedure?
The LARIAT™ device is currently approved for use in a specific group of patients who have atrial fibrillation but who have experienced dangerous side effects from anticoagulants (medication that thins the blood to prevent blood clots), such as internal bleeding. This inability to take anti-clotting medication puts these patients at a very high risk for stroke. The new LARIAT procedure allows those patients to not have to take blood thinners.
The procedure is also approved for patients for whom blood thinners are not effective.
Benefits of the LARIAT Procedure
The LARIAT device hold some key benefits for eligible patients. The minimally invasive procedure:
- Can reduce the risk of stroke by 85 to 90 percent
- Is suitable for patients who cannot undergo surgery
- Promotes faster healing and quicker recovery
- Minimizes discomfort after the procedure
How Is the LARIAT™ Procedure Performed?
The LARIAT™ Suture Delivery Device, manufactured by SentreHEART Inc., consists of a long, soft plastic catheter tube with tiny magnets and a lasso-shaped suture at the end. The LARIAT™ implant procedure involves small puncture sites rather than a large incision.