If you and your doctor have decided that LAA closure using the LARIAT device is the best stroke-prevention treatment for you, there will be certain preparations that you will make in coordination with your care team. These preparations may include tests, dietary and medication restrictions, exercise restrictions and gathering any personal items you will need during your stay at the hospital.
If you are having the minimally invasive (pericardial) procedure, it is likely that you will be in the hospital for one night. If you are having your LAA closed as part of open-heart surgery for other problems, such as blocked heart arteries or leaky heart valves, you may spend a few days in the hospital. In either case, you will be unable to drive for a short period of time after your treatment and will need to have a plan in place for a family member or friend to drive you home from the hospital and stay with you for a few days.
Planning for Your Procedure
Talk with your doctor as far in advance of the procedure as possible and find out if any forms need to be filled out or medical tests will need to be performed before the procedure.
Before your procedure, you will want to identify a family member, friend or neighbor who can take you to the hospital and pick you up when you are discharged. You will also need to identify a caregiver who can help you in the time immediately following your procedure because you will not be allowed to drive, exercise vigorously or lift heavy objects for a few days after you return home.
In the days just before your procedure, you will want to begin gathering the personal items you will need during your hopsital stay:
- Any medications you will need to take while in the hospital. Be sure your doctor is aware of all medications you are taking, including those prescribed by other physicians.
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures and any similar items. You will be asked to remove these items for the procedure, but you may want to have them with you for your hospital stay.
- Comfortable clothing for your trip home. After your procedure, you will want to have comfortable clothing for when you are able to go home.
You will be advised by your care team as to your dietary restrictions. Typically, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure or surgery. This requirement is to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with the anesthesia.
Be sure your care team is aware of all medications you are taking. Also advise them of any vitamins or supplements you are using. Your doctor will give you instructions as to which medications you should continue and which you should stop taking – and when – before the procedure. Any medications you are advised to take or continue taking should be swallowed with only a sip of water.
Admission to the Hospital
Generally, you will come to the hospital in the morning of the day of your procedure or surgery, where you may be asked to fill out forms and prepare for your procedure or surgery and have any necessary tests performed.
Click here to learn about how the LARIAT LAAC procedure is performed.
Click here to learn what happens after the LARIAT LAAC procedure is completed.