Many Americans take blood thinners to help manage atrial fibrillation. AFib, the most common sustained heart arrhythmia, affecting nearly three million people in the United States, can lead to severe complications like strokes if untreated. Ed Cleary came to Massachusetts General Hospital in June 2012 to get his AFib treated. He had tried taking a blood thinner to help manage his AFib, but bled too much. Fortunately, he qualified for a new procedure now being used for the first time in New England by Mass General Hospital. The Lariat® procedure is for patients who cannot be on blood thinners. The procedure, which is minimally-invasive and uses catheters, ties off the left atrial appendage by use of sutures (blood clots often appear in the LAA and can cause strokes). In this video, Moussa Mansour, MD, director of the Mass General Atrial Fibrillation Program in the Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care, talks about what the procedure does, gives a general overview of the problem for some patients with the left atrial appendage and shares Mr. Cleary’s prognosis. For more information about AFib and diseases and conditions treated in the Atrial Fibrillation Program, visit: www.massgeneral.org
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