The left atrial appendage (LAA) has been identified as a predominant source of thrombus formation leading to significant thromboembolic events in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. Medical therapy to eliminate thrombus formation in the LAA has been the standard of care for several decades, but mechanical approaches designed to exclude the LAA from the circulation have recently been developed. The largest body of randomized and nonrandomized data to date has been for the Watchman device (Boston Scientific, Natick, Massachusetts), which was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for selected patients in the United States. There are no current guidelines or guidance for institutions and operators looking to become involved in this therapy. This perspective is aimed at exploring these issues and providing necessary information and guidance to these programs and operators to help ensure a successful launch of a LAA occlusion program and optimize patient selection, procedural performance, and outcome.
- anticoagulant agent(s)
- atrial fibrillation
- stroke prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine