Watchman is a surgical procedure done in a Cath Lab under anesthesia. The Watchman Device is an implantable device proven to reduce risk of stroke in patients with Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation (NVAF). Watchman has been deemed a safe alternative to for patients with NVAF on long-term Warfarin therapy.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) and Stroke Risk
For individuals with AFib, blood-thinning medications, such as Warfarin, can be an effective way to reduce the risk of stroke. But for some patients, there are potential barriers to these medications, such as the increased risk for bleeding events, dietary restrictions, frequent lab tests, and prescription costs. For people with an active lifestyle, long-term blood thinning medication therapy might be a challenge to maintain.
For approximately 90% of patients with Afib, stroke-causing clots are formed in the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA). The Watchman device closes the LAA, preventing clots from passing through and reducing the risk of stroke.
The Watchman Procedure
A TEE ( Transesophageal Echocardiogram) is performed prior to the procedure to measure the LAA and determine the size of the Watchman device to be implanted. This is done on a different day than the Watchman Procedure.
Next, the Watchman procedure is scheduled and the device is implanted. During this minimally invasive procedure, your cardiologist makes a small incision in your upper leg and guides the device up through a vein, placing it in the LAA to seal it off.
The procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours. Patients typically go home the following day and full recovery averages 2-4 days.
To learn more about the Watchman procedure or to make an appointment please call 303-595-2727.