What to Expect from Lariat Procedure

Prior to Surgery

  • You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), Clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have.
  • You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
  • Let your doctor know if you have a cold, flu fever, herpes breakout or other illness prior to surgery. This may require that your reschedule your procedure.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.

On the Day of the Surgery

  • You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After Surgery

  • Most patients will remain in the hospital for at least overnight.
  • You will have a dressing over your incision sites for the next few days. You will need to keep if dry and avoid showering.
  • This procedure has a quick recovery with most patients feeling much better within the first week.

Recovery: what to expect in the next few weeks

  • While you may feel much better after the first week, you need to follow your physician’s orders on recommended activities.
  • You will have follow-up appointments with your cardiologist and imaging studies performed if you have a history of strokes or TIA.

Lariat Procedure Q&A

What does lariat left atrial appendage closure involve?

Under general anesthesia, the cardiologist will make two tiny incisions – one in your groin and one near the heart. A catheter is inserted into the groin and is advanced to the left atrial appendage. A guide wire is inserted at the site of the second incision near the heart, Using the two wires, a lariat device is used to loop around the appendage and tie it off. This completely seals and stabilizes the appendage and prevents clots from escaping.

How many incisions are made?

One incision is made in your upper thigh and one in your chest.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

Patients will remain in the hospital for a day or so.

What is the recovery time?

Most patients feel better after the first week.