If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 for 24/7 free and confidential crisis support. You do not have to be suicidal to call. Access more info and resources on suicide prevention, emotional and mental health support

toggle mobile menu Menu
toggle search menu

Site Navigation



Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

An Alternative to Oral Blood Thinners

More than 5 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation (AF): the irregular, chaotic beating of the upper chambers of the heart. AF increases your risk of stroke five times over someone with a normal heart, and most people with AF need long-term treatment to reduce the risk of a stroke.

Taking oral anti-coagulants is the most common course, but they come with complications. You may have increased risk of bleeding, negative interactions with some foods and drugs, and side effects that can be severe. 

Since 90% of strokes in people with AF originate in the heart's left atrial appendage (LAA), a left atrial appendage occlusion procedure can be a good alternative over long-term anti-clotting drugs. The procedure closes off the atrial appendage with permeable mesh that allows blood to pass through but prevents clots from entering the blood stream.

Studies show that after a successful procedure, the risk of stroke can be reduced to the levels of a person with a normal heart. Continuing anti-coagulant medications are part of the recovery period, and aspirin is recommended indefinitely.

Consult your doctor to find out if a left atrial appendage occlusion procedure may be right for you.

Articles & Resources

  • showing 2 of 2
  • Blog Post

    New Procedure Helps Woman with Atrial Fibrillation Reduce Stroke Risk and Leave Blood Thinners Behind.

  • Article

    Atrial fibrillation

Learn more about treatment options for atrial fibrillation.