Atrial fibrillation occurs when the two upper chambers of your heart (atria) beat irregularly and fast. This can cause blood clots to form within these upper chambers, putting you at risk for stroke. Most patients with atrial fibrillation take blood thinners (oral anticoagulants) to prevent clots from forming, but if your physician feels blood thinners are not safe for you and you are at risk for stroke – you may benefit from a left atrial appendage closure device.
The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small, ear-shaped pouch in the left atrium (top left chamber of the heart). Closing it off may reduce your risk of stroke. Some benefits of implanting the device are that it:
A left atrial appendage closure device procedure, such as the WATCHMAN implant procedure, is a cutting-edge treatment option that does all of the above. It is currently only available at a few hospitals in the United States, including Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center.