The Left Atrial Appendage – I’ll bet you didn’t even know you had one. You do, and it’s just waiting to cause you a world of hurt.
About 3 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation, and it is estimated 16 million Americans will have the condition by 2050. Stroke is one of the most serious complications related to atrial fibrillation.
We now know that in those patients with atrial fibrillation the clots that cause most strokes come from a certain area of the heart called the left atrial appendage.
Afib related strokes can usually be traced to this “appendix” of the heart 97% of the time.
Like the appendix, no one knows why the left atrial appendage even exists but during afib the pooling of blood here is a stroke waiting to happen.
A relatively new and simple procedure now exists to close or block off this atrial appendage.
The result is many afib sufferes may be abled to come off of some of the more troublesome blood thinning drugs like coumadin.
If your afib can not be eliminated and normal sinus rhythm restored at least this procedure may make you more safe from debilatating and deadly strokes.
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