The LARIAT® Suture Delivery Device permanently closes the Left atrial appendage (LAA), which is a benefit for individuals with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) who cannot tolerate blood thinners.
The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small, ear-shaped sac in the muscle wall of the left atrium (top left chamber of the heart). The LAA is a structure in the heart that normally contracts, allowing blood to flow in and out of the LAA. For patients with AFib, the most common heart rhythm disorder, the LAA no longer rhythmically contracts, creating a sluggish blood flow that can cause blood to pool and clot. These blood clots can lead to stroke. About 90% of the clots in atrial fibrillation originate in the LAA.
Atrial fibrillation patients are often prescribed a blood thinners, such as warfarin or Coumadin or newer blood thinners such as Xarelto, Eliquis to prevent clotting; however these drugs cannot be tolerated by all patients.
During the LARIAT procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area under the breast bone. After the area is numbed, two catheters are guided into the patient's heart to seal the LAA with a pre-tied suture loop (similar to a lasso) using the LARIAT Suture Delivery Device. Once tied off, the appendage will turn into scar tissue over time. This procedure has the potential to reduce risk of stroke.
Unlike traditional surgical treatments, this procedure is completed through small punctures in the skin, so in addition to less pain, the patient benefits from a shorter recovery time and less risk of complications.