Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

If you have atrial fibrillation (Afib), you face an increased risk of stroke. Left atrial appendage occlusion may help you reduce your stroke risk without blood-thinning medications.

What is Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion?

The LAA is where blood clots tend to form in people with atrial fibrillation. If a blood clot leaves the LAA, it can get stuck in a blood vessel, blocking your blood flow and causing a stroke.

During left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO), your doctor uses a small, umbrella-like device to block off a small area of your heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). 

LAAO helps prevent stroke because it stops blood clots from forming in the LAA.

Alternative to Anticoagulants

100% of Spectrum Health patients with successful LAAO implants have been able to stop taking anticoagulation medications within 45 days of their procedure.

Watchman™ Device Experience

Spectrum Health began using the Watchman™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device when the FDA approved it in 2015. Since then, we’ve performed more than 136 LAAO procedures.

Am I a Candidate?

You may benefit from LAAO if you have atrial fibrillation that’s not caused by a heart valve problem. LAAO is a minimally invasive, low-risk procedure. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

What to Expect

During LAAO, your doctor uses imaging technology to guide a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through your blood vessels to your heart. Then, he or she uses the catheter to place the closure device in your LAA. You’ll probably stay in the hospital overnight after your procedure. 

Follow your doctor’s instructions for follow-up care. We’ll want to see you regularly to monitor your implant and help you stay as healthy as possible.

Get a Second Opinion

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