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BACKGROUND: Left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) has been widely adopted as a strategy for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation ineligible for oral anticoagulation. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore longer-term "real-world" safety and efficacy outcomes in patients undergoing LAAO given varied practices in antithrombotic regimens and adoption of same-day discharge. METHODS: Analysis of acute procedural and long-term outcome data was performed for all patients undergoing LAAO implant in a United Kingdom tertiary center over an 11-year period. Rates of adverse events were calculated and compared to predicted rates in historical cohorts according to CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED scores. RESULTS: Device implantation was attempted in 229 patients, with an acute procedural success rate of 98.2% and low rate of major procedural complications of 2.6% at 30 days, including 1.3% procedure-related mortality. In the last year of enrollment, 75% of patients were discharged on the same day of the procedure. A strategy of early cessation of antithrombotic therapy was adopted, with a low rate of device-related thrombus. Over total follow-up of 889 patient-years, there were low rates of thromboembolic events (2.2/100 patient-years) and of significant bleeding events (intracranial bleed 0.6/100 patient-years; nonprocedural major bleeding 2.3/100 patient-years). CONCLUSION: LAAO with a same-day discharge strategy and early cessation of antiplatelet therapy seems to be safe and effective in reducing the risk of stroke and major bleeding over mean follow-up approaching 4 years. Although these data are reassuring, results from randomized trials with strict shorter periods of postprocedural antithrombotic therapy are eagerly awaited.

Original publication




Journal article


Heart Rhythm

Publication Date





1724 - 1732


Atrial fibrillation, Left atrial appendage occlusion, Stroke prevention, Watchman, Watchman-FLX, Aged, Atrial Appendage, Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Catheterization, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Forecasting, Humans, Incidence, Male, Registries, Retrospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Thromboembolism, Treatment Outcome, United Kingdom