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A minimally invasive lariat cardiac procedure uses a clip or other device to seal the left atrial appendage (LAA). The LAA is a pouch in the wall of the heart. The goal is to stop blood from entering the LAA and forming clots.
Learn more about doctors at St. Rose Dominican who perform minimally invasive lariat cardiac procedures in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. Call Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals at (702) 616-4900 or Find a Doctor online.
The left atrial appendage is a small sac of tissue that protrudes from the upper chamber of the heart (left atrium). In people with atrial fibrillation (AFib), the LAA can fill with stagnant blood, which then forms clots that can enter the bloodstream. From there, the clots can travel to the brain and cause a stroke or go into the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. The lariat procedure seals off the LAA so no blood can enter it. This does not affect how your heart works, but it can stop blood clots from forming in the LAA.
Not everyone with AFib is a good candidate for the lariat procedure. The criteria vary, depending on which procedure or device you choose.
An interventional cardiologist performs the lariat procedure in a hospital or an outpatient center. It is a cardiac catheterization procedure. Before it begins, you will likely receive sedation to keep you comfortable. Your doctor will make a small incision in a major vein, typically in the groin, and insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. Using special instruments, the doctor will advance a guidewire to the left atrial appendage and close the opening with a clip or other device. This device is permanent.
After the procedure, you will go to a recovery area to lie on your back for several hours while your incision site seals. You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
When it’s time to go home, you will receive instructions about medications, follow-up appointments, and activity restrictions. You should promptly report any unusual symptoms, especially swelling or bleeding at the incision site, fever, or heart palpitations.
Many people recover quickly and with little pain after a minimally invasive lariat cardiac procedure. Eventually, you may even be able to stop taking anticoagulant medications for your AFib. Ask your doctor if this will be possible for you. Don’t stop taking your anticoagulant without talking to your doctor first.
At Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals, our cardiac surgeons are experts in minimally invasive lariat cardiac procedure in Las Vegas and Henderson.