The Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) is a small, ear-shaped pouch that is attached to the left atrium of the heart. It is located in the upper chamber of the heart and is responsible for storing a small amount of blood before it is pumped out of the heart. The LAA is not essential for the function of the heart, but it can sometimes cause problems if blood clots form inside it.
In some patients with atrial fibrillation, blood can pool inside the LAA, increasing the risk of blood clots forming. These clots can then break off and travel to other parts of the body, potentially causing a stroke. As a result, some patients with atrial fibrillation may require medication or procedures to reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the LAA.
Various medical procedures can be used to address LAA-related issues, including surgical removal of the LAA, closure of the LAA using devices, or medication to thin the blood and reduce the risk of clots forming.« Back to Glossary Index