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Methodist Sugar Land is first in county to offer stroke-preventing procedure for atrial fibrillation patients

Sugar Land, TX - 6/5/2013

Methodist Sugar Land is the first hospital in Fort Bend County to offer the LARIAT procedure to treat patients who have atrial fibrillation and are at increased risk of stroke. The LARIAT procedure is nonsurgical and noninvasive—performed in a catheterization lab instead of an operating room.

Jie Cheng, M.D., Kesavan Shan, M.D. and Jasvinder Sidhu, M.D.Jie Cheng, M.D., Kesavan Shan, M.D. and Jasvinder Sidhu, M.D.

Patients who have atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) are at particular risk for developing clots in the left atrial appendage (LAA) at the top of the left chamber of the heart. The clots can break off, travel within the body and cause a stroke. Most patients with atrial fibrillation take blood-thinning medications to prevent these embolic strokes. Some patients, because of bleeding risks and other side effects, cannot take these medications.

“The LARIAT Suture Delivery Device provides an innovative technology that may help atrial fibrillation patients who cannot take blood thinners,” says Jie Cheng, M.D., a board certified electrophysiologist at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital who performed the first such procedure in Texas.

“By using state-of-the-art 3 dimensional echocardiography (a sonogram of the heart), we are able to guide the LARIAT procedure without the need for open heart surgery,” says Kesavan Shan, M.D., board certified cardiologist and director of cardiac imaging at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. We are very pleased to provide this potentially lifesaving therapy to residents of Fort Bend and surrounding areas.”

A patient having a procedure with the FDA-approved LARIAT Suture Delivery Device has general anesthesia and usually can go home within 48 hours. In the catheterization lab, the physician guides two needles to the heart through long, thin tubes called catheters—one inserted through a small incision in the patient’s groin and the other through a puncture below the patient’s breastbone. Then, the physician places a pre-tied suture loop (type of string) around the left atrial appendage, completely cutting off blood flow and preventing clots from forming in the LAA.

“The LARIAT procedure is one more way in which Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is determining the best surgical technologies and applying them to benefit our patients,” says Jasvinder Sidhu, M.D., a board certified electrophysiologist at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

For more information on Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit MethodistSugarLand.com or call 281-274-7500 for a physician referral.