Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device

Treating Cardiovascular Diseases in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois

A left atrial appendage closure device is used for patients with atrial fibrillation who cannot use blood thinning medication. There is a high risk of stroke with atrial fibrillation due to blood clots that may form in the left upper chamber of the heart.  A left atrial appendage closure device is an alternative to blood thinning medication, which thins the blood to prevent clots.

Preparing for a Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device Procedure 

The cardiac implant closure device procedure is discussed by the doctor in detail during the clinic appointment. If a patient is a candidate for the device, then a date is set for the procedure. Patients should expect to be in the hospital for one day and the staff will discuss any specific preparations that are needed prior to the procedure.

What to Expect During the Procedure

During the procedure, the patient is given anesthetics and made as comfortable as possible. An echocardiogram is performed by a doctor who is an expert is the field and part of the procedure team. The physician who will be implanting the left atrial appendage closure device chooses the correct device size to be used based on the patient. A catheter is then used to access the left atrium upper chamber through a blood vessel and the device is implanted in the heart.

Recovery after the Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device Procedure

Patients are monitored continuously throughout the procedure and during their recovery. Patients are typically discharged the day after their left atrial appendage closure device procedure. It is recommended that someone else drive the patient home after being discharged, but after 1-2 days there are usually no driving restrictions for the patient. Blood thinners are issued for 4-6 weeks after the procedure and then are stopped.

Risks of the Procedure

In the experienced hands of Aurora physicians, risks of the cardiac implant closure device procedure are low and will be discussed in detail by your doctor.

Why Choose Aurora for a Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device?

A left atrial appendage closure device procedure is a cutting-edge treatment option and the procedure is currently performed at very few hospitals throughout the United States. In Wisconsin, a left atrial appendage closure device is currently only available at St. Luke’s Medical Center. It requires significant experience to implant the device in the left atrial appendage to prevent clots from forming and releasing into the bloodstream.

The left atrial appendage closure device is an ideal procedure for patients who cannot take blood thinning medications for extended periods of time or do not want to take them.