By Fred Bodimer

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Cardiac specialists at Saint Louis University Hospital are among the first in the region to perform a new procedure reducing stroke risk for patients with atrial fibrillation.

Traditionally, AFIB patients must take blood thinners to lower their risk of stroke. Some, however, aren’t able to take blood thinners so surgery could be the answer.

“It is a way to keep somebody’s stroke risk at a very low rate, without taking blood thinners,” says Dr. Michael Limm, SLU Care interventional cardiologist.

Without cracking the breastbone, surgeons thread a pre-tied suture loop through the body via a catheter where it eventually ties off the heart’s left atrial appendage, which is where 90 percent of blood clots emerge.

Limm says the procedure should eliminate the need for blood thinners.


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