Since the 1950s, the pathophysiologic role of the left atrial appendage (LAA) has been known in thromboembolic disease. A variety of surgical techniques have been described to close the LAA, with various degrees of efficacy. Today, transcatheter devices for LAA occlusion may offer a less invasive solution. This review looks at the surgical experience with LAA occlusion, with a focus on the techniques of closure, the prospects for stroke reduction, and the percutaneous trials completed so far, to formulate some meaningful conclusions about the status of LAA closure today.
Copyright © 2011 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.