AtriCure, a firm based outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, is now making available in the United States its AtriClip PRO•V Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Exclusion System. The device, used to occlude the LAA as necessitated by other open heart procedures, received FDA clearance in March of 2016.
The LAA is a cul-de-sac where blood experiences quite a bit of turbulence, which can result in the formation of a clot, especially if patient develops atrial fibrillation. Blood thinners are the preferred treatment, but many patients don’t fare well on these drugs. LAA occlusion is a surgical alternative that involves closing off the LAA completely so that nothing goes in or comes out. Though it comes with its own limitations and side effects, LAA occlusion is a pretty surefire way to avoid LAA-originating clots altogether.
As its name implies, the AtriClip PRO•V is used to place a small clip on the exterior of the entrance to the FAA, shutting it closed.
Unlike Boston Scientific‘s somewhat famous Watchman system, which was approved by the FDA in 2015, there’s no penetration of cardiac tissue. This intrinsically avoids any consequences arising from making holes in myocardium and the implant that remains behind stays outside the heart.
The delivery and positioning of the clip using the AtriClip PRO•V, which is done via a 12mm port, requires “direct observation” by the surgeon, according to AtriCure. This can involve an endoscope, camera, or some other method that provides a real-time view of the relevant anatomy.
Product page: AtriClip PRO•V Device…