New LARIAT Procedure Reduces Stroke Risk in Patients Who Can't Tolerate Blood Thinners

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New LARIAT Procedure Reduces Stroke Risk in Patients Who Can't Tolerate Blood Thinners

Jersey Shore University Medical Center offers a non-surgical alternative to help prevent stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation

Jersey Shore University Medical Center is one of only a handful of hospitals in the country offering the recent FDA-approved LARIAT Suture Delivery Device procedure. Electrophysiologists and interventional cardiologists perform this innovative procedure to help prevent stroke in patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation and are unable to take blood thinners.

"Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart rhythm problems seen in the world," explains Dawn Calderon, D.O., FACC, chief of cardiology & director of the Adult Congenital Heart Center at Jersey Shore. "An estimated 2.7 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, and these patients are five times more likely to suffer from stroke. For those who cannot tolerate traditional medications, the LARIAT provides an exciting, minimally invasive option that greatly reduces this risk."

Strokes typically occur when blood forms clots in the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA), a small pouch which empties into the left atrium. Patients at high-risk for stroke are typically placed on oral anticoagulation therapy to prevent strokes; however some cannot tolerate these due to bleeding complications. In the past, these patients would require open heart surgery. The LARIAT procedure is a non surgical option whereby the LAA is tied so clots cannot form, drastically reducing the risk of heart related stroke. Performed under general anesthesia, the procedure involves two catheters that are guided to the patient's heart to seal the LAA with the device. Once in place, the LARIAT tightens a loop stitch around the base of the LAA, permanently sealing it off from the rest of the heart and closing it off to any blood flow.

According to Ashish Patel, M.D., electrophysiologist at Jersey Shore, "90% of strokes caused by atrial fibrillation originate from the LAA. The LAA provides no function, so when it is tied, the source of heart related stroke is reduced. Other benefits include less discomfort and a shorter recovery time than open heart surgery. The LARIAT is truly a breakthrough for patients who can't take blood thinners as it provides a new way to help prevent heart related stroke."

Jersey Shore University Medical Center is one of the largest cardiovascular programs in New Jersey. Through Meridian CardioVascular Network, Jersey Shore offers the most complete, coordinated care from prevention and wellness programs to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease to rehabilitation and recovery.

About Jersey Shore University Medical Center:
Jersey Shore University Medical Center, a member of the Meridian Health family, is a not-for-profit teaching hospital and home to K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital - the first children's hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Jersey Shore is the regional provider of cardiac surgery, a program which has been ranked among the best in the Northeast, and is home to the only trauma center and stroke rescue center in the region. Jersey Shore University Medical Center specializes in cardiovascular care, orthopedics and rehabilitation, cancer care, neuroscience, and women's specialty services. For more information on Jersey Shore University Medical Center call 1-800-DOCTORS, or visit