Information for your patients

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) and Stroke

In Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), the top chambers of the heart quiver or flutter. This can cause blood to pool in the heart and form clots. When clots travel to the brain, they can cause a stroke. Most clots that lead to stroke are formed in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage.1

AFIB TREATMENT OPTIONS TO REDUCE STROKE RISK

Medical Management

Anticoagulant medications help treat AFib by thinning the blood to reduce the risk of a clot forming. However, many people are not able take blood thinners due to:2

Increased risk of bleeding

Unpleasant side effects

Cost

The need for constant blood testing

Other medical conditions

Increased risk of bleeding

Unpleasant side effects

Cost

The need for constant blood testing

Other medical conditions

Catheter Ablation

Cardiac ablation is a procedure in which a doctor will access the heart through a blood vessel. A catheter (a long steerable tube) will enter the vessel and be placed in the heart where diagnostic devices will be used to determine the area of the heart that needs to be treated. The doctor will use the catheter to apply energy to the targeted heart tissue. This will isolate the area from the rest of the heart and prevent it from producing AFib.

Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

LAA Occlusion is an atrial fibrillation treatment that completely closes the left atrial appendage (LAA) and immediately eliminates the need for blood thinners, and: 

  • Permanently closes off a small area of the heart where clots are known to form.
  • Prevents clots formed in the appendage from escaping into the body.
  • Allows people to stop taking blood thinners (anticoagulants) immediately.

For a person with atrial fibrillation considering an alternative to long-term or life-long anticoagulants (blood thinners), a doctor may recommend the LAAO device to reduce the risk of stroke. The procedure is minimally invasive, and here are some things to consider

  • The procedure is not open-heart surgery 
  • The procedure takes 1 to 2 hours
  • Most patients are out of the hospital within 24 hours
  • This type of procedure has been done for many years 
  • Physicians who place the device have extensive training and experience 

WATCH HOW THE LAAO
DEVICE WORKS TO
REDUCE STROKE RISK

Closure of the left atrial appendage with the LAAO is demonstrated in this short video.

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