Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) Procedure
The Structural Heart team at the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute offers several options for left atrial appendage closure (also called left atrial appendage occlusion). Your doctor will talk with you about these procedures. Together you will choose the procedure that is best suited to treat your atrial fibrillation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the WATCHMAN device as a permanent implant to plug the opening to the left atrial appendage. Once in place, it blocks blood from entering the sac. This device has been shown to be as good as blood thinners for preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Your doctor will insert the device using a catheter inserted into a vein in your groin. The procedure takes about one hour. Patients typically spend one night in the hospital after the procedure.
A cardiologist uses the LARIAT device in a catheter-based procedure (medical procedure that uses a catheter to deliver instruments and devices that are used to correct a medical condition) to implant a suture (thread-like material used to sew together edges of tissue) around the outside of the opening of the left atrial appendage. Like a cowboy’s rope lariat, the suture can be tightened. In this case, it closes off the opening to the left atrial appendage and stops the blood flow. The procedure takes about two hours. Patients typically spend one night in the hospital after the procedure.
A heart surgeon uses a minimally invasive procedure to implant the AtriClip device on the outside of the opening to the left atrial appendage. This permanently clamps the opening closed and stops the flow of blood between the left atrium and the sac. The procedure lasts about one hour. Patients typically spend one or two nights in the hospital after the procedure.
Providers Specializing in Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) Procedure
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