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Munroe Regional Medical Center Offers New Non-Surgical Procedure to Eliminate a Major Cause of Heart-Related Stroke

Munroe is the second hospital in Florida to perform this innovative procedure.

Ocala, FL - April 17, 2012

On Monday, April 16, 2012, Munroe Regional Medical Center became the second hospital in the state of Florida (Baptist Hospital Miami) to perform a non-surgical, new catheter-based procedure, that uses sutures to tie off the left atrial appendage (LAA) in the heart. The LAA is known to be a major source of blood clots, which may lead to stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

The closure was performed in Munroe Heart’s cardiac catheterization lab by interventional cardiologist, Dr. Richard Han. The procedure used a new technology called the LARIAT™ Suture Delivery Device. The LARIAT enables remote suture closure without major surgery. The procedure used a pencil-sized access site on the chest to deliver the LARIAT outside of the heart. Another catheter was placed inside the heart to confirm placement location. Once in position, the LARIAT allows for placement of a pre-tied suture loop for immediate and permanent closure. Dr. Han performed three LARIAT procedures yesterday.

“Until recently, millions of people with atrial fibrillation who cannot tolerate drugs like coumadin, Pradaxa, or Xarelto had no good option for reducing their higher risk of stroke,” said Dr. Richard Han. “By effectively excluding the left atrial appendage without the need for open surgery, the LARIAT procedure offers them new hope in stroke prevention.”

AFib is an irregular heartbeat, a rapid heartbeat, or a quivering of the upper chambers of the heart that impacts more than 5.1 million people in the United States. Patients with AFib have a five times higher risk of stroke. The vast majority of these strokes arise from blood clots forming in a small portion of the heart called the left atrial appendage. Stroke is the #3 killer in the United States and is the #1 cause of permanent disability.

For more information please contact Ryan Gerds, Public Information Officer, at 402-5206.

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About the LARIAT Suture Delivery Device
The LARIAT Suture Delivery Device, made by SentreHEART based in Palo Alto, Calif., is designed to facilitate soft tissue approximation and ligation during procedures where it is desirable to deliver a pre-tied suture loop with control and accuracy. The LARIAT Suture Delivery System is approved by the FDA for use in soft tissue ligation and approximation procedures.