Not all atrial fibrillation patients are candidates for an ablation, either catheter ablation or surgical ablation, such as the maze or mini maze procedures. Thus their stroke risk remains high. We recently wrote about the FDA’s approval of the AtriClip device, which is implanted during open heart surgery and reduces stroke risk by occluding (closing off) the left atrial appendage.
However, the AtriClip isn’t limited just to afib surgery. Just last week, Dr. Mubashir Mumtaz, Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg, PA, implanted the AtriClip in a patient who was having her mitral valve replaced. He didn’t believe ablation was an option for her, so he implanted the AtriClip, which took less than two minutes, in order to lower her stroke risk.
Since she couldn’t have an ablation, she may have to remain on warfarin. However, Dr. Mumtaz still sees a benefit to using the AtriClip because warfarin doesn’t eliminate all AF-related stroke risk.
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