Community Memorial Health System, Where Excellence Begins With Caring
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Heart & Vascular Program, the regional leader in cardiac care


Electrophysiology Locations:

Community Memorial Hospital

Dr. Ishu RaoDr. Ishu Rao

New LARIAT Cardiac Procedure at CMH Reduces Risk of Stroke

Community Memorial Hospital's Electrophysiologist, Dr. Ishu Rao is among the first in the nation to perform the LARIAT™ procedure, an innovative way to treat atrial fibrillation ("a fib" or "AF") in patients who are unable to take blood thinning medications.

Atrial fibrillation affects an estimated three million people, and patients with this condition are five times more likely to have a stroke. In people with atrial fibrillation, the heart beats irregularly, either too fast or too slow. This disruption makes it harder for the heart's upper and lower chambers to work together, leading to an increased likelihood that blood will pool and dangerous clots will form.

Benefits of the LARIAT™ procedure

  • May help decrease the risk of stroke without affecting the rest of the heart.
  • It is an alternative option for patients who cannot take blood thinners.
  • The procedure is successful in about 95% of the patients. (It's impact in long-term risk of stroke is still unclear.).
  • It is a permanent, one-time solution.
  • The non-surgical procedure poses a small risk to most patients.
  • There is minimal discomfort after the procedure.
  • Patients won't need frequent medical visits and blood tests required for patients on blood thinning medications.

The LARIAT™ procedure, performed under general anesthesia, uses two catheters. The first, carrying the FDA-approved LARIAT™ Suture Delivery Device, is inserted under the patient's rib cage and the other, which guides it into place, is sent to the heart's left atrial appendage (LAA).

Once in place, the LARIAT™ Suture Delivery Device places and tightens a loop stitch around the base of the LAA, permanently sealing it off from the rest of the heart and blocking stroke-causing blood clots from traveling to the brain.

Approximately 95 percent of strokes that occur due to blood clots in atrial fibrillation patients are from clots formed in the LAA. A successful LARIAT™ procedure eliminates the main source of atrial fibrillation-related stroke while avoiding potentially serious side effects associated with blood-thinning medications as well as the need for open heart surgery. This is an alternative option for patients who cannot take blood thinners. The LARIAT™ procedure is approved and will be paid for by Medicare.

To find out if you are at risk for a stroke visit