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Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO)

Due to the increased risk of stroke in patients with AFib, patients are often treated with blood thinners (oral anticoagulants) or left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) devices to reduce stroke risk.

When blood thinners are not an ideal solution due to side effects, bleeding complications, or patient desire, a left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) with the Watchman™ implant can be an effective option. 

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

Approved by the FDA, this umbrella-shaped device fits in the left atrial appendage to form a barrier against blood clots. This reduces the risk of stroke.

The device is inserted through a small tube threaded into the heart via a needle puncture in the femoral vein (in the groin area of the upper leg). Patients usually stay overnight in the hospital.

Placement of the LARIAT™ suture device is another procedure for left atrial appendage occlusion offered at UC San Diego Health.  With this device, the left atrial appendage is tied off by access to both inside and outside the heart. 

We also offer other procedures to treat AFib, such as catheter ablation and mini-maze.

UC San Diego Health physicians are studying this procedure as part of the aMAZE trial to determine whether the procedure may help reduce the risk of recurrent AFib in addition to standard-of-care catheter ablation.


  • New and Current Patients:
  • Non-Invasive Imaging


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


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