February 20, 2020
Northwest Medical Center Performs Its First Left Atrial Appendage Closure Laac Procedure
In honor of Heart Awareness Month, Northwest Medical Center is excited to announce that it has performed its very first Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) procedure.
Affecting approximately 2.7 to 6.1 million people in the United States, atrial fibrillation or AFib is an irregular arrhythmia of the heart. Symptoms of AFib may include an irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or chest pain.
Approximately 1 in 7 strokes are caused by AFib. For patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, the left atrial appendage is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots, which can break loose and travel in the blood stream to the brain, lungs and other parts of the body. For many years, the only treatment option for those with AFib has been long-term blood thinners. Now, as an alternative, the LAAC implant is recommended to those who have non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
"The Left Atrial Appendage Closure implant allows Cardiologists to offer their patients cutting edge technology, without compromise" said Sameer Satija, MD, Cardiologist. "By offering this alternative to blood thinner medications, the implant helps to manage patients with atrial fibrillation by reducing their risk of stroke."
Implanting the LAAC device is a one-time minimally invasive procedure via a catheter. The procedure is performed in an electrophysiology lab, usually lasting about an hour. Following the procedure, patients stay in the hospital for 24 hours and 30 to 45 days post procedure, the patient's cardiologist can take them off blood thinners.