Richard Kovach, MD, Deborah’s Chair, Endovascular Medicine and Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Jon George, MD, Assistant Director Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory successfully performed the hospital's first successful LARIAT procedure.
Used in treating atrial fibrillation, this novel procedure offers hope to patients who cannot take blood thinners to reduce the risk of stroke from this irregular heart rhythm. Drs. Kovach and George threaded two magnetic wires to the heart's left atrial appendage. One magnetic wire is advanced into the appendage from the inside via a trans-septal heart catheterization. A second magnetic wire is manipulated to the outside tip of the appendage through a catheter inserted via a puncture through the skin, and advanced into the space between the ribs and the heart. When the wires get close to each other, their magnetic attraction joins them together. The appendage is then "lassoed" by a loop stitch advanced over the outer wire to the base of the atrium and tightened. This permanently seals off the left atrial appendage and blocks stroke-causing blood clots from traveling to the brain.