Thoracoscopic resection of the left atrial appendage after failed focal atrial tachycardia ablation.
BACKGROUND: This case series describes 3 patients with the unusual location of focal atrial tachycardia in the left atrial appendage who failed catheter ablation but were successfully treated by left atrial appendage resection by a totally thoracoscopic surgical technique. METHODS: In all 3 cases, left atrial appendage resection was carried out by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery using only 3 5- to 10-mm incisions, eliminating the need for median sternotomy or thoracotomy. An endoscopic stapler was used to resect the left atrial appendage at its base, successfully eliminating the source of the patients' focal atrial tachycardia. RESULTS: The mean operative time was 84 minutes. All 3 patients tolerated the procedure without any complications and were discharged on postoperative day 3. At an average follow-up of 4.5 years, all patients remained asymptomatic and with normal ambulatory rhythm monitoring off all antiarrhythmic medications. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical resection of the left atrial appendage using a totally thoracoscopic approach is a safe and successful treatment option for patients who have failed endocardial catheter ablation. This novel approach utilizes smaller incisions and shorter operative times than the more invasive surgical techniques previously described in the literature.
Torok, RD; Wei, B; Kanter, RJ; Jaquiss, RDB; Lodge, AJ
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