Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

What is Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO)?

Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) is a treatment for people with a heart condition called atrial fibrillation (AF). During LAAO, a small device is put in the left atrial appendage (LAA), which is a part of the heart where blood can sometimes pool and cause clots.

LAAO is often for people with AF who can’t take blood-thinning medicines or who are at high risk of strokes. It’s not always suitable for everyone, so your Specialist will check if it’s right for you based on your health and medical history.

Before the LAAO procedure, your will tell you how to prepare. You might need to avoid eating or drinking for a while, and stop taking certain medicines. During the procedure, you’ll be given medicine to help you relax. A small tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel, usually in your leg, and gently moved up to your heart.


The doctor will put a special device into the LAA to close it off. This stops blood from pooling there and lowers the risk of clots forming. The whole thing usually takes an hour, and you might need to stay in hospital overnight.

Although LAAO is usually safe, there are some risks, like bleeding, infection, or damage to blood vessels. Serious problems like stroke or heart rhythm issues are rare but can happen.

After the LAAO procedure, you’ll need to rest for a while. You might feel a bit sore where the catheter went in, but this usually goes away quickly. Your doctor will give you advice on how to look after yourself at home, including any medicines you need to take. They’ll also arrange follow-up appointments to check how you’re doing and make sure everything’s okay.


Remember, if you have any questions or worries about LAAO, it’s important to talk to your doctor or nurse. They’re there to help you understand and feel confident about your treatment.