Atrial Fibrillation (afib) patients are generally at a higher risk for stroke and thus may have to take anticoagulant medications, such as Coumadin or warfarin, to manage their afib-related stroke risk. With the Food and Drug Administration's recent approval of the AtriCure's AtriClip device that is implanted during open heart surgery, afib patients and their doctors may now have another way to reduce stroke risk.
The AtriClip cuts off blood flow to the heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA), where an estimated 90 percent of afib-related blood clots form, thus decreasing stroke risk. AtriClip is the first left atrial appendage occlusion device to be approved in the U.S.
Other devices are in clinical trials, including Medtronic’s Cardioblate Closure LAA Occlusion device, AGA Medical’s Amplatzer Cardiac Plug, and Atritech’s Watchman.
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