Valley Heart & Vascular Institute - Treatments & Procedures

Lariat Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation

The Valley Hospital is among the first hospitals in the area to perform a new catheter-based procedure that reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who cannot take blood-thinning medications.

An estimated 2 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, or AFib, the most common form of heart rhythm abnormality. This abnormal heart rhythm causes the upper parts of the heart to quiver, or fibrillate, which hinders blood from moving efficiently from the upper chambers to the lower chambers of the heart. Because the blood that pools in the upper chambers of the heart is not moving well, it can form a clot. The clot typically forms in the left atrial appendage (LAA). If the clot then travels from the heart to the brain, it can cause a stroke. Part of the treatment plan for patients with AFib may include taking an anticoagulant medication to help prevent blood clots from forming. But not all patients can take blood thinning medication due to bleeding complications.

Cardiac electrophysiologists at Valley’s Arrhythmia Institute are now using a new procedure called the Lariat to block blood clots from traveling from the LAA to the brain. Just as the name implies, the Lariat procedure uses a lasso-like stitch to tie off the LAA -- a muscular pouch connected to the left atrium of the heart that is the major source of blood clots in atrial fibrillation.

Suneet Mittal, M.D., Director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory at Valley Hospital explains the details of Afib and the Lariat procedure in this video:

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