Tuesday, August 06, 2013
MetroHealth Cardiologists First in Area to Perform Procedure for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation
In April, MetroHealth cardiologists were the first in Northeast Ohio to perform the Lariat procedure - a new way for physicians to help patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) minimize their stroke risk.
A patient with AFib may have blood pooled in the left atrial appendage of the heart’s top chamber, which can cause blood clots and lead to stroke. Previously, if a patient was unable to take blood thinning medications to reduce this stroke risk, they would have to undergo open heart surgery to tie off the appendage to lessen the risk.
“Using the Lariat® Suture Delivery Device, we perform a minimally invasive procedure to tie off the appendage,” saidOhad Ziv, MD, Director of the Atrial Fibrillation Center. “For people with no other options, this is the solution for potentially saving lives.”
AFib, which can also lead to heart failure, affects more than two million Americans.
In addition to Dr. Ziv, Grace Cater MD; Sanjay Gandhi, MD; and Michael Cutler, MD, assisted during the procedure, which took place at MetroHealth on April 9.
During the Lariat procedure, two catheters are guided into the body through one small incision in the groin and one just under the rib cage. From each catheter, a wire is advanced to the left atrial appendage, one from the inside of the heart, and the other from the outside of heart. These wires have tiny magnets at the ends. When the magnets connect, a specialized catheter called the Lariat® Suture Delivery Device (below photo) can be advanced over the left atrial appendage.
After the wires are pulled back, a suture is deployed from the Lariat around the left atrial appendage to tie it off. With the appendage closed, blood cannot enter, and blood clots cannot form, reducing the risk of stroke.
"This is a safe alternative for the thousands of atrial fibrillation patients at risk of stroke who are unable to take blood thinners," said William Lewis, MD, Chief of Clinical Cardiology.
“The recovery time for this procedure is much less than for open heart surgery,” said Dr. Ziv. “People at risk for falls or bleeding will surely benefit from this procedure.”
Dr. Ziv is accepting referrals for this procedure.