Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device for Afib
Breakthrough Implant that Reduces Stroke Risk for a Lifetime
Having atrial fibrillation, or Afib, means being 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke. Blood thinners such as warfarin reduce the risk of blood clot formation, but can cause side effects and bleeding problems. Now there’s an alternative to lifelong blood thinners.
A parachute-shaped implant, the only FDA-approved device of its kind, is now being placed into a part of your heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). That’s where blood tends to pool and clots are formed in people with Afib. The permanent, quarter-sized implant closes off this part of the heart and keeps those clots from escaping.
- Your physician makes a small cut in your upper leg and inserts a narrow tube – similar to a standard stent procedure.
- The implant is guided through the tube into your left atrial appendage (LAA).
- The implant’s mesh membrane is spring loaded to expand to the approximate size of a quarter.
- This parachute-shaped implant closes off the left atrial appendage thus keeping clots from escaping and causing strokes.
- Heart tissue grows over the implant and it becomes as permanent part of your heart.
The hour-long procedure is done under general anesthesia. Patients typically stay in the hospital overnight and are discharged the following day.
In a clinical trial, 92% of patients were able to stop taking warfarin within 45 days, and 99% within a year of the procedure.
This breakthrough procedure is covered for eligible Medicare patients meeting criteria and also by an increasing number of commercial insurers. Contact us to find out if this permanent closure implant is right for you. How Common is Afib?
There are approximately 2.3 million people in the United States affected by this rhythm. Nearly 160,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. This rhythm usually affects people over 60 years of age, but younger people may develop it as well.