OHI Performs First Minimally Invasive LAA Exclusion with LARIAT Device

Oklahoma Heart Institute First in Oklahoma to Perform Minimally Invasive LAA Exclusion to Reduce Risk of Stroke

    On Thursday, August 23, Oklahoma Heart Institute (OHI) became the first hospital in Oklahoma to perform a new minimally invasive catheter-based procedure to close the left atrial appendage (LAA). The procedure, which uses the LARIAT® Suture Delivery Device, permanently closes the LAA which is a benefit for individuals with Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) who cannot tolerate blood thinners.

    The LAA is a structure in the heart that normally contracts, allowing blood to flow in and out of the LAA. For patients with A Fib, the most common heart rhythm disorder, the LAA no longer rhythmically contracts creating a sluggish blood flow that can cause blood to pool and clot. These blood clots can lead to stroke. A Fib patients are often prescribed a blood thinner, such as warfarin or Coumadin, to prevent clotting; however these drugs cannot be tolerated by all patients.

    During the LARIAT procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area under the breast bone. After the area is numbed, two catheters are guided into the patient’s heart to seal the LAA with a pre-tied suture loop – similar to a lasso – using the LARIAT Suture Delivery Device. Once tied off, the appendage will turn into scar tissue over time. This procedure has the potential to reduce risk of stroke.

    Unlike traditional surgical treatments, this procedure is completed through small punctures in the skin, so in addition to less pain, the patient benefits from a shorter recovery time and less risk of complications.

    The Oklahoma Heart Institute Cardiac Electrophysiology Team of Gregory Cogert, MD, Craig Cameron, MD, and David Sandler, MD, performed the first LAA Exclusion case.

    “Oklahoma Heart Institute is proud to offer this innovative procedure that will improve quality of life for our patients,” said Cogert. “At OHI, our mission is to provide cutting-edge, high-quality cardiovascular care to our patients and the LARIAT ‘lasso’ is another example of our commitment to this mission.” 

    Atrial Fibrillation affects approximately 6 million adults in the United States and the condition accounts for more than 20 percent of stroke-related deaths.

    Recognized by US News & World Report, USA Today, Cath Lab Digest, the American Heart Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Heart Institute has earned a reputation as one of the finest tertiary cardiovascular care programs in the country. From advanced diagnostic procedures not available elsewhere in the state to innovative first-time procedures, Oklahoma Heart Institute has dedicated itself to providing the citizens of northeastern Oklahoma with the highest level of cardiovascular care.