LAAO procedure for AFib: An alternative to blood thinners

Should you’ve been identified with atrial fibrillation (AFib), your physician could have talked about the Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) process. An alternative choice to blood thinners, this minimally invasive therapy choice helps many individuals get again to residing a cheerful, wholesome, lively life—unrestricted by most of the worries that usually include AFib.

Let’s stroll via the advantages of the LAAO process, what to anticipate and methods to know if this can be a good subsequent step for you. After all, your heart specialist is your greatest useful resource in figuring out whether or not this therapy choice is the correct match. (Don’t have a heart specialist? Discover a heart specialist close to you right now.)

The bodily and emotional impacts of residing with AFib

Irrespective of your age, bodily exercise is a part of a cheerful and wholesome life, whether or not it’s gardening, going to the gymnasium, swimming laps or something in between. However for these with atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, these actions usually include a danger.

AFib is the commonest sort of irregular heartbeat. Individuals residing with AFib are at an elevated danger of stroke. In reality, the danger of stroke will increase 5 occasions in case you have AFib.

Blood thinners, or oral anticoagulants, are the commonest therapy to assist forestall a stroke. Whereas useful in stopping a stroke, blood thinners additionally enhance the danger of bleeding.

This worry of bleeding—or collaborating in actions the place falls after which bleeding may happen—is usually front-of-mind for these with AFib. Because of this, residing with AFib usually comes with each bodily and emotional impacts.

Bodily limitations with AFib

Residing with AFib and on blood thinners, whereas lifesaving for a lot of, usually leaves individuals feeling restricted. On blood thinners, it’s necessary to be cautious about each day actions to stop falls and bleeding, equivalent to enjoying with grandchildren, mountaineering or exercising. One misstep or fall may have critical penalties. 45% of individuals agree that AFib robs them of actions they used to get pleasure from.


Amongst these taking blood thinners, 38% really feel trapped between the worry of getting a stroke and the worry of dangers related to blood thinners.

Blood thinners have been the usual course of therapy for AFib sufferers, however for some, another such because the LAAO process is a greater long-term strategy. This selection completely reduces stroke danger and may enhance high quality of life.

How the LAAO process works

An implantable cardiac gadget the scale of 1 / 4, the Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) implant is a one-time, minimally invasive process for individuals with AFib that’s not attributable to a coronary heart valve drawback, often known as non-valvular AFib.

The process inserts a parachute-shaped implant with minimally invasive strategies into the left atrium (LAA), positioned on the high of the guts.

For individuals with an irregular heartbeat, blood clots could type within the LAA and journey to different components of the physique, which might minimize off the blood provide within the mind, inflicting a stroke. This is without doubt one of the main causes of dying and incapacity. Closing off the LAA in your coronary heart with the LAAO gadget completely retains these blood clots from forming.

What to anticipate through the LAAO process

Should you and your heart specialist determine this process is an effective choice for you, right here’s what to anticipate.

In the course of the process

Cardiologists carry out the hour-long, minimally invasive LAAO process in a catheterization lab. You’ll be underneath normal anesthesia whereas the gadget is implanted.

After the process

You’ll typically be launched from the hospital in lower than 24 hours. You’ll regularly lower your use of blood thinner medicine over time, underneath the supervision of your heart specialist.

Advantages of the LAAO process

After the LAAO process, individuals discover that most of the destructive bodily and emotional results disappear altogether and are changed with extra flexibility and freedom.

  • Freedom from blood thinners. 96% of individuals had been capable of discontinue their blood thinner at 45 days. For individuals who have hassle remembering to take their anticoagulants, equivalent to individuals with dementia, this will make a giant distinction of their well being and long-term outlook.
  • Capacity to be lively once more. With out use of blood thinners, persons are capable of get again to the lively lives they used to get pleasure from—whether or not that’s enjoying with grandchildren, gardening, enjoying tennis or one other lively pastime.
  • No extra restrictions. Individuals now not really feel the fixed concern of blood thinner bleeds weighing on their minds. They’ve extra freedom to journey, get pleasure from actions and do what they need when they need.

Is LAAO best for you?

If any of the next statements are related to you, ask your heart specialist about LAAO:

  • I’ve AFib that’s not attributable to a coronary heart valve drawback.
  • I’ve been prescribed a blood thinner as a consequence of AFib.
  • I’ve one of many following:
    • Main bleeding whereas taking blood thinners
    • A life-style, occupation or well being concern that places me in danger for bleeding
    • Difficulties taking prescribed blood thinners

Prepared to search out out extra about LAAO? Get look after AFib right now.

Bao Le, DO, is an interventional heart specialist on the medical workers at Baylor Scott & White Medical Heart – Faculty Station.

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