January 27, 2023
Thousand Oaks, CA, December 14, 2022 – On Friday, October 21st, Dr. Saibal Kar, an Interventional Cardiologist at Los Robles Health System, made history by leading the Los Robles team in implanting the first in the United States Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device that uses a rotational locking system to completely close the left atrial appendage and help prevent stroke in patients with Atrial Fibrillation.
In patients with persistent or paroxysmal non-valvular atrial fibrillation, blood may pool within the appendage of the heart’s left atrium forming a clot which can dislodge and lead to a stroke. Therefore, anti-coagulants are the standard of care treatment for preventing stroke in these patients but for various medical reasons some are unable to tolerate long-term blood thinners. These patients are candidates for this trial. The study device is called the “Laminar Left Atrial Appendage Closure System.” Los Robles’ first U.S. case was the 49th Laminar implant in the world and is part of an early feasibility trial that will help gain knowledge and experience in the safety and efficacy of the device.
Dr. Saibal Kar, Interventional Cardiologist at Los Robles Health System, explained “The device is a novel treatment option for closing the left atrial appendage using a tiny implant. The exposed metal surface is much smaller than the current generation of left atrial appendage closure devices. As a result, the leak rate will be very small and thrombus formation is unlikely, which will provide significant long term implications in the prevention of stroke.” The device is currently in clinical trials in the United States at only a few selected centers in the US.
During the procedure, a catheter is introduced into the femoral vein and advanced to the right side of the heart to make a small hole between the right and left sides of the heart to gain access to the left atrial appendage using transesophageal ultrasound guidance and x-ray imaging. Once positioned, the implant and left atrial appendage are then rotated closed. Once the left atrial appendage is closed the lock is advanced to secure the tissue thus sealing the left atrial appendage.”
Dr. Saibal Kar completed three procedures on the inaugural day, and has since treated a total of ten patients with this new device. Among one of the first patients was Conejo Valley’s very own Kaj Sorensen. Kaj met Dr. Kar through a community lecture he attended with the Westlakers that Los Robles was headlining and before he knew it he had scheduled a consultation with Dr. Kar to discuss his options. Dr. Saibal Kar reviewed Kaj’s medical history and determined he was a great candidate for the left atrial appendage closure device.
When catching up with Kaj Sorensen, he stated, “I want to give a special thanks to Dr. Saibal Kar, Interventional Cardiologist and his staff, who performed my surgery on October 21, 2022. These medical professionals are some of the best in our Country. If you want "over-the-top" care, come to Los Robles Health System. I am forever grateful!” We are happy to report that Kaj is recovering nicely and just celebrated his 55th wedding anniversary with his wife, Lori.