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Home » Services » ACI Cath Lab » Interventional Cardiology » Atrial Appendage Closure

Left Atrial Appendage Closure

Left Atrial Appendage Closure is a newer procedure for patients with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem (NVAF) who cannot take blood thinners. NVAF is an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause blood clots to form in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage, or LAA.  Clots from the LAA can migrate and cause a stroke and these patients have a 5 times higher risk of stroke.  This risk is normally reduced by prescribing blood thinners. However many patients cannot tolerate blood thinners since they can cause internal bleeding in other areas of the body.

LAAC is a minimally invasive cath lab procedure.  The doctor inserts a narrow catheter with a specialized closure device through a small puncture in a vein in the patient’s upper leg. The doctor then guides the closure device into the LAA and securely releases it. Once successfully released, the device seals off the LAAC and prevents the migration of clots. After a period of healing, a layer of tissue will form over the device and the patient can then discontinue blood thinners.

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