Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart rhythm problem, or arrythmia, that increases your risk of stroke. AFib can cause blood cells to stick together and form clots in your heart’s left atrial appendage (LAA). If clots escape from the LAA and travel through the body, they can restrict blood to the brain, causing a stroke.
Blood thinners such as warfarin can treat AFib, but they come with risks. Your doctor may suggest an alternative if you have a lifestyle, job or condition that increases your risk of bleeding.
Nuvance Health® offers an advanced treatment option for those who qualify: Watchman™ left atrial appendage closure device. This permanent implant reduces the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation who can’t take blood thinners.
How Watchman™ Works
The Watchman device forms a barrier against blood clots by closing the left atrial appendage, where most blood clots form. Electrophysiologists and interventional cardiologists use real-time image guidance and a thin tube (catheter) to implant the device into the heart’s left atrium.
Recovery from Watchman
After the Watchman procedure, you’ll take warfarin until your LAA is permanently shut off, about 45 days. Heart tissue eventually grows over the device and it becomes part of your body, so you won’t need warfarin anymore.
Eligibility for Watchman
Speak with your doctor about whether Watchman may be an effective option. You may be eligible if you have a type of AFib not caused by heart valve problems and:
- Must take blood-thinning medication for the rest of your life, on your doctor’s recommendation
- Can take warfarin, but have a history of bleeding or are at severe risk of bleeding
Comprehensive Care for Atrial Fibrillation
Watchman may be part of your customized treatment plan for arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation, which may also include heart medicine, electrophysiology or heart surgery.
Keeping your heart healthy is a lifelong journey. We support you with follow-up appointments to monitor your heart’s function and ensure you’re feeling well.