Midland Cardio-Vascular Services
Private Service, Cardiology, Vascular Surgery
Left atrial appendage (LAA) closure
The left atrial appendage is a small pouch found in the top left chamber of the heart (the left atrium). As the heart contracts with each heartbeat, blood is squeezed out of the left atrium and into the left ventricle (bottom left chamber of the heart). If you have atrial fibrillation, the electrical impulses that control the heartbeat are fast and chaotic and the atria don’t have enough time to squeeze the blood into the ventricles effectively. Blood collects in the left atrial appendage and can form clots, increasing the chances of a stroke.
Left atrial appendage closure is a procedure which closes off the opening of the left atrial appendage. A special catheter is gently inserted into a large vein and guided slowly up to the heart. It delivers a device at the opening of the left atrial appendage that becomes a permanent seal that prevents clots from being released.