Overland Park, KS —  The cardiology team at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, led by DJ Lakkireddy, M.D., board certified electrophysiologist (EP) and executive medical director of Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute at HCA Midwest Health, today performed the first Steerable Delivery Sheath technology to seal the left atrial appendage (LAA) on a patient diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib).  The AMULET device is a breakthrough for AFib patients at risk of ischemic stroke. Innovatively designed to improve ease of use during the minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure, the technology provides physicians with controlled navigation and flexibility during implant, in both simple and challenging cardiac anatomies. This latest advancement in treating LAA comes from Abbott, a leading manufacturer of life-changing structural heart solutions. 

Dr. Lakkireddy is fourth in the nation and first in the Midwest and HCA Healthcare nationwide to use the technology. Overland Park Regional Medical Center is part of HCA Midwest Health — Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider.   

Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute, home to the region’s largest and most advanced EP program, is internationally known for world-class arrhythmia care, adopting cutting-edge technologies supported by high-quality research and education. The physicians have published extensively about LAA and treated several thousands of patients, helping protect them from AFib-related stroke and bleeding complications from blood thinners. 

“This new technology is another testament to Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute and Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s passion and dedication to providing safe, advanced ways to address complex heart diseases,” says Overland Park Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Matt Sogard, FACHE. “The entire cardiology team works to ensure patients in our region have the most effective treatment options available, providing them hope and a better quality of life.” 

“Nearly half a million patients are hospitalized with AFib annually, and 20 to 30 percent of AFib patients eligible for the novel LAA occlusion therapy often have challenging anatomies, making deployment of the therapy more difficult,” Dr. Lakkireddy says. “The Steerable Delivery Sheath offers a new solution to patients with complex atrial fibrillation, enabling them to live their life without depending on blood thinner medication to manage the risk of stroke. Many patients deemed ineligible for LAA therapy can benefit from this innovation.” 

Atrial fibrillation occurs when the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat out of coordination with the lower chambers (ventricles) and contract rapidly and irregularly – from 350 to 600 times per minute compared to a normal heart rhythm of 60 to 100 times per minute. In some people with AFib, the LAA – a small, naturally occurring pocket connected to the upper left chamber of the heart – can allow blood to pool and increase the likelihood of a clot formation, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. For patients with AFib unable to take blood thinners long-term, physicians may perform procedures to prevent blood clots from leaving the LAA to reduce stroke risk.

The device seals the LAA at its opening, minimizing the opportunity for blood clots to form in and migrate into the bloodstream. 

For more information about HCA Midwest Health’s heart and vascular care, services and advanced technology, visit www.hcamidwest.com/heart.