Cardiovascular Services > About Us > Procedures > Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Device

Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Device

What is a Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion?

A left atrial appendage occlusion refers to a device that is placed into the left atrial appendage to prevent the formation of a blood clot in the setting of atrial fibrillation. The majority of patients with atrial fibrillation are on an anticoagulant therapy (blood thinner) to reduce their risk for a blood clot and, subsequently, a stroke. Some patients are unable to tolerate anticoagulation for reasons such as:

  • Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets)
  • Severe or recurrent bleeding
  • Poor adherence to medications
  • High fall risk

What can I expect during the procedure?

The patient receives a sedative through an IV, but stays awake during the procedure. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin, where the catheter will be inserted (typically in the groin area or wrist). Once the procedure is done, the catheter is removed and the insertion site is closed. The patient is then taken to the recovery area for close monitoring of his or her vitals.