Guidance published on left atrial appendage occlusion to treat adults with atrial fibrillation
Health Technology Wales has published guidance on a type of heart surgery that can be used to prevent blood clots in adults with atrial fibrillation (AF)
AF is an irregular and often rapid heart rhythm that can cause blood clots in the heart. These blood clots can form in the left atrial appendage part of the heart and can lead to a stroke.
People with AF are usually treated with anticoagulant medication, however not everybody can take this medication.
Left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) is a type of heart surgery that can be used as an alternative way to prevent blood clots in adults with AF who cannot take anticoagulants.
It involves inserting an LAAO device into the left atrium part of the heart, blocking off the area where the blood clots are most likely to form.
According to guidance published by HTW, the evidence does not support the routine adoption of left atrial appendage occlusion in adults with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who cannot take anti-coagulant medication.