Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion

If you have an irregular heartbeat known atrial fibrillation (AFib), you face a higher risk of stroke.

UC San Diego Health's electrophysiology program offers several ways to reduce your stroke risks, including a left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) device. This implant can block blood clots that can form in your heart and travel through the bloodstream to the brain, causing strokes.

LAAO Procedure

A left atrial appendage occlusion with the Watchman implant can be an effective alternative to blood thinners (oral anticoagulants). Some patients can’t or don’t want to take these medicines long-term due to side effects or bleeding complications.

This minimally invasive procedure is led by Jonathan Hsu, MD, MAS, and Ryan Reeves, MD, at UC San Diego Health.

The Watchman is an FDA-approved, umbrella-shaped device that fits in the left atrium of your heart to form a barrier against blood clots. Your surgeon inserts this device through a narrow tube via a vein in the groin area and guides it into your heart. Patients usually stay overnight in the hospital.

We can also perform another procedure for left atrial appendage closure using the LARIAT suture delivery device, which ties the appendage off from the heart. 

We also offer other options to treat AFib, such as catheter ablation and the Mini-Maze procedures.

Contact Us


  • New and Current Patients:
    Phone: 858-657-8530
  • Noninvasive Imaging
    Phone: 858-657-8111


  • Phone: 858-657-8817
  • Fax: 858-657-1252

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