Left Atrial Appendage Procedures
For patients who are unable to take blood-thinning medications (because they are at risk of falling or developing bleeds) another treatment option is a catheter procedure intended to isolate the area of the heart in which clots are most likely to originate. With atrial fibrillation, the majority of clots form in one particular spot: a small pouch off the left atrium called the left atrial appendage. A few proven and emerging treatments have been developed in order to prevent clots from moving from this pouch into the circulatory system:
Suture Ligation Procedure
This procedure involves guiding a catheter to the left atrial appendage, where it tightens a loop around the mouth of the appendage, tying it off from the rest of the heart.
Filter Device Clinical Trial
This new procedure currently being studied in clinical trials involves inserting a tiny filter across the mouth of the left atrial appendage in order to prevent any clots from moving into the heart.