Florida Hospital Tampa's Pepin Heart Institute is the first in west and central Florida and one of only a few in the nation to treat heart patients with a new LARIAT procedure.
The catheter-based procedure ties off the left atrial appendage, a major source of blood clots, using sutures. These blood clots can lead to stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib). Previous treatments for these clots have included medications and pacemakers, but the new surgical treatment helps prevent the clots without the need for those.
AFib is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting approximately 3 million adults in the United States and accounting for more than 20 percent of stroke-related deaths. The disorder can cause shortness of breath, fainting and discomfort.
The minimally invasive LARIAT procedure may eliminate the need for open-heart surgery, as well as for anticoagulants, long-term medications that can cause numerous side effects and frequent medical visits.
Dr. Dilip Mathew, cardiologist at Florida Hospital Tampa
is the only physician in the Tampa Bay region performing the procedure and has performed it four times thus far. Mathew, who has been practicing in the Tampa Bay region since 2004, specializes in the management of heart rhythm disorders. He is qualified to perform the procedure because of his extensive experience with trans catheter surgeries (2,000 to date).
The procedure "allows our patient population to avail of this new technology which will help people who cannot take anticoagulants but are still at risk of stroke,'' says Mathew. "Patients are extremely pleased with the outcome.''
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dr. Dilip Mathew, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute