Our Lady of the Lake First in the State to Offer Procedure to Help Prevent Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation Patients 06/28/2013
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in the state to offer a new procedure called LARIAT™ which may reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (a-fib or AF). The procedure gives an option to patients who cannot take blood thinners.
If a patient has an irregular heartbeat it is possible that the patient may have blood pooled in the left atrial appendage of the heart. This blood pool can form a clot which could break away and cause a stroke.
“Strokes caused by blood pooled in this appendage can be devastating for patients. These are the types of strokes that can cause almost complete immobility or death,” said Kenneth Civello, MD, MPH, FACC, electrophysiologist with Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group and Louisiana Cardiology Associates.
The minimally invasive procedure reduces the risk of stroke by using the LARIAT™ device to lasso and tie off the left appendage where blood can pool. An electrophysiologist threads the device up thru small incisions in the groin and mid abdomen. Previously, patients would have to undergo open heart surgery to remove this appendage to reduce the risk of stroke.
“Patients using blood thinners struggle with frequent medical visits, blood tests and sometimes complications. There are also some patients who are not able to take blood thinners. For these patients, this procedure is a good alternative and possibly a way to reduce their risk of having a stroke,” explained Dr. Civello.
About Afib Arrhythmias, or electrical problems of the heart, affect five million people each year. When the electrical impulses that cause the heart muscle to contract are not transmitted normally, an arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat occurs. Arrhythmias can take place in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence, but they may also indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death. Our Lady of the Lake is a leading medical center for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
About Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center Our Lady of the Lake is one of the largest private medical centers in Louisiana, with over 700 licensed beds and a 11-parish service area. In a given year Our Lady of the Lake treats approximately 35,000 patients in the hospital and serves over 350,000 persons through outpatient locations with the assistance of more than 1,000 physicians and 4,000 team members.
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is smoke free.