Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Closure

If you have atrial fibrillation (AFib) and can’t take blood thinners, our doctors can help. We use innovative devices to prevent blood clots from traveling through the body and causing stroke. We provide all the options you need, at locations across southeastern and south-central Michigan.

Why choose Henry Ford Health System for LAA closure?

Our structural heart specialists helped develop the leading left atrial appendage (LAA) closure device, now used by doctors around the country.

In addition to approved treatments, we have access to proposed approaches for stroke prevention, as well as to devices still under investigation. By participating in clinical trials, we can provide you with newer options when appropriate. Not all centers participate in these trials.

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Stroke risk and atrial fibrillation (AFib)

Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. Arrhythmias result from problems with your heart’s electrical system.

If you have AFib, the upper chambers (atria) of your heart beat out of sync with the lower chambers. Blood then pools in the upper chambers. It may also pool in the left atrial appendage (LAA), a small pouch attached to the left atrium.

Pooled blood increases your risk of blood clots, particularly in the LAA. These blood clots increase your stroke risk from atrial fibrillation.

How does LAA closure help lower your stroke risk?

LAA closure helps prevent blood clots from leaving your heart. Our interventional cardiologists are experts at using minimally invasive procedures to close the left atrial appendage. We provide you with safe and effective treatment.

Closure devices

Special devices can permanently close your left atrial appendage. Before your procedure, we make a precise, 3D model of your heart. The model helps us choose a device that fits your heart’s unique anatomy, making your procedure safer and more effective.

Doctors deliver the device using a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. They thread the catheter and the device through blood vessels to reach your heart. Once in place, the device expands and seals off the LAA, preventing blood clots from escaping.

Surgery

Sometimes, people with stroke risk from atrial fibrillation need heart surgery for another reason. If that’s the case, our surgeons may tie off the left atrial appendage during the operation, rather than implanting a device.

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