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Choosing Blood Thinners or Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Closure

For most people with atrial fibrillation, blood thinners lower the risk of stroke. However, blood thinners (also called anticoagulants) can cause bleeding.

Some people with a very high risk might consider a procedure called left atrial appendage closure that places a device in the heart to prevent strokes.

If you have atrial fibrillation, use this Stroke and Bleeding Risk Calculator together with the decision aids below to help you decide with your care team what treatment is right for you.  

If you are living with atrial fibrillation and a very high, high, moderate, or low risk of stroke, use the tools in the sections below.

Use this decision aid to decide between treatment with blood thinners (warfarin or DOACs) or a left atrial appendage closure device.

Download in English | Spanish

Watch: This video is for patients with atrial fibrillation who are at very high risk for stroke.

Use this decision aid to decide between no treatment and treatment with blood thinners (warfarin vs. DOACs).

Download in English | Spanish

Watch: This video is for patients with atrial fibrillation who are at high risk for stroke.

Use this decision aid to decide between no treatment and treatment with blood thinners (warfarin vs. DOACs).

Download in English | Spanish

Watch: This video is for patients with atrial fibrillation who have a moderate risk for stroke.

Use this decision aid to understand no treatment vs. treatment with blood thinners. 

Download in English | Spanish


  • Last Edited 05/31/2017