An implant alternative for those at risk of a stroke due to atrial fibrillation
The WATCHMAN™ implant is for people with Atrial Fibrillation not caused by heart valve problems, who cannot tolerate long term blood thinners.
For those patients considered suitable for warfarin by their physicians, but have reason to seek an alternative, the WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Device is an implant-based alternative to warfarin.
The WATCHMAN Device is implanted in the left atrial appendage of your heart to permanently close off this small pouch and keep harmful blood clots from entering your bloodstream, potentially causing a stroke. It is made of materials that are common to many medical devices, is about the size of a quarter and cannot be seen outside the body.
By closing off the left atrial appendage, the source of more than 90% of stroke-causing blood clots, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, you may be able to stop taking warfarin.
How is the WATCHMAN Device Implanted?
A WATCHMAN Implant is a one-time implant typically performed under general anesthesia. Similar to a stent procedure, your doctor will guide the WATCHMAN Implant into your heart through a flexible tube (catheter) inserted through a vein in your upper leg. The implant does not require open heart surgery and does not need to be replaced.
Your doctor will cross from the right side of the heart to the left side of the heart. Once the position is confirmed, your doctor will release the implant to leave it permanently fixed in your heart. You would then need to stay in the hospital overnight and recovery typically takes about twenty-four hours. After a few months, you may be able to stop taking warfarin.
For more information on Watchman at Brandon Regional Hospital, call (813) 916-0715.