Percutaneous approaches for retrieval of an embolized or malpositioned left atrial appendage closure device: A multicenter experience.

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Journal Title

Heart Rhythm


BACKGROUND:Experience with retrieval of a Watchman left atrial (LA) appendage (LAA) closure device (WD) is limited. An embolized or grossly malpositioned WD warrants retrieval to minimize the risk of thromboembolic complications and vascular occlusion. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to report approaches for percutaneous retrieval of a WD from multicenter experience. METHODS:Data on successful WD retrievals were obtained from high-volume operators. Data included clinical characteristics; structural characteristics of the LA and LAA; and procedural details of the deployment and retrieval procedure, type of retrieval (immediate: during the same procedure; delayed: during a separate procedure after the successful deployment), equipment used, complications, and postretrieval management. RESULTS:Ten successful percutaneous and 1 surgical retrievals comprised this study. Seven patients had immediate retrieval, while 4 had delayed retrieval. The median duration before delayed retrieval was 45 days (range 1-45 days). The median LAA diameter and size of a successfully deployed WD was 16 mm (range 14-24 mm) and 21 mm (range 21-30 mm), respectively. A WD was retrieved from the LA (n = 1), LAA (n = 2), left ventricle (n = 2), and aorta (n = 6). The reason for retrieval from the LAA was inadequate deployment, resulting in a significant peri-device leak. Retrieval from the LA or LAA was successfully performed using snares (n = 2) and a Raptor grasping device (n = 1). Retrieval from the left ventricle was achieved with a snare (n = 1) and surgery (n = 1). Retrieval from the aorta required snares (n = 5) and retrieval forceps (n = 1). Five patients were successfully reimplanted with a larger size WD. The only complication during percutaneous retrieval was a pseudoaneurysm. CONCLUSION:Retrieval of an embolized or malpositioned WD is feasible, and familiarity with snares and grasping tools can facilitate a successful removal.

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Faculty; Northwell Resident


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

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For the public and Northwell Health campuses