Atrial Fibrillation is a condition where the upper chambers of the heartbeat chaotically and the pulse becomes fast and irregular. It is a fairly common heart arrhythmia, seen particularly in the elderly, those with structural heart disease and high blood pressure. The incidence of atrial fibrillation is fairly high. The biggest threat to patients with atrial fibrillation is stroke. A stroke happens due to clot formation in the left upper chamber of the heart and from where it breaks off and migrates into the circulation and most commonly into the brain arteries. The risk of stroke in patients with AF is fivefold higher. In those with valvular heart disease and AF, the stroke risk is even higher. 20 % of all strokes happen due to AF. Traditionally patients with atrial fibrillation have been treated with blood thinners which work very well in preventing stroke. However, blood thinners carry the risk of bleeding and therefore some patients cannot take them. These are people with kidney or liver disease, those with certain hematological disorders like low platelets, and patients already taking other kinds of blood thinners. Similarly, patients who have already bled because of blood thinners cannot continue to take them. This exposes them to the risk of stroke. New hope for these patients is a procedure called “Left atrial appendage device closure”.
In patients with AF, the most common location for clot formation is a small extension of the left atrium called the left atrial appendage. Blood stagnates in the appendage and clot forms. When this clot migrates, it causes a stroke. A novel way of preventing stroke is by plugging this appendage with a device in a procedure called “LAA device closure” which is done under local anesthesia with mild sedation.
NKH Hospitals are regarded as the best cardiac hospital in Korba, performing a multitude of treatments and procedures in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.