Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC)

Who is it for?

No treatment is right for everyone. If you’re considering left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) to reduce the risk of stroke, your healthcare team will talk with you about the benefits and risks of the procedure considering your specific condition and history. You’ll also need to know whether your health insurance will cover this procedure.

In general, LAAC is an option for patients who have been unable to take anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications to prevent blood clots caused by atrial fibrillation (Afib). While LAAC has been shown to be effective in preventing stroke and reducing the need for anticoagulant medications, it’s not for all people who have Afib. In fact, these procedures are recommended only for people in specific situations. Examples of potential problems include a history of major bleeding while on anticoagulant medications, an inability to regulate the dose, or continued episodes of stroke despite anticoagulants (medication failure). LAAC isn’t the best treatment option for every patient. Your doctor will discuss the various treatment options with you and make recommendations.

You may be eligible for LAAC with the LARIAT if you’re:

  • Unable to tolerate anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications or continue to have problems with blood clots despite using blood thinners
  • Not a candidate for a more invasive procedure such as open-heart surgery

You may be eligible for LAAC with the WATCHMAN or the AMPLATZER Cardiac Plug if you’re:

  • Seeking alternatives to anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications
  • Not a candidate for a more invasive procedure such as open-heart surgery

It’s important to note that most people with Afib are not candidates for LAAC because anticoagulant medications are a better option for them or because their Afib could be better treated with either antiarrhythmic medications or procedures such as cardioversion or ablation.