Atrial fibrillation causes an irregular or fast heartbeat. It can also lead to life-threatening blood clots. At Baptist Health, we offer a leading-edge treatment that can get you off the blood thinners you need to manage this condition.

It’s called left atrial appendage closure. And Richard Cartledge, M.D., chief of cardiovascular surgery at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, is one of the few cardiovascular surgeons in the nation performing this procedure in an ultra-minimally invasive way.

What is a Left Atrial Appendage Closure?

Left atrial appendage closure is a procedure that blocks off the opening of your left atrial appendage in the upper left chamber of your heart. The exact function of the left atrial appendage is unclear, but we do know that blood clots can form there if you have atrial fibrillation. And if those clots break free, it could cause a stroke or other problems. That’s why you take blood thinners.

Traditionally, a left atrial appendage closure requires a 2.5-inch incision. With the ultra-minimally invasive technique, Dr. Cartledge makes two 1/5-inch openings. Using special tools, he seals off the appendage and closes it off from circulation. Blood is reabsorbed into your body instead of forming blood clots, and you no longer need blood-thinning medication.

“By taking part in clinical trials, we've been part of the cutting-edge technology to provide our patients a high level of care even years before new devices are widely available."
Benefits for Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Benefits for Atrial Fibrillation Patients

In addition to no longer needing blood thinners, you can experience other benefits if you undergo this procedure. After this surgery, most patients:

  • Do not need a postoperative chest tube.
  • Go home the next day.
  • Only need over-the-counter pain medication.

Our arrhythmia specialists can help determine if this procedure is right for you.

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