WATCHMAN™ Device for AFib
UnityPoint Health – Trinity helps you receive advanced heart care close to home, including the WATCHMAN™ device for atrial fibrillation (AFib). We are the first program in the Quad Cities region offering this tiny device that lowers stroke risk. This offering is one of the many ways we are advancing care possibilities for the people we serve.
Who Is the WATCHMAN Device For? How Does It Reduce Stroke Risk?
The WATCHMAN device may be right for you if:
- You have an irregular heartbeat due to AFib.
- AFib is not a complication of a heart valve problem.
- You do not wish to or cannot take blood-thinning medications.
AFib affects the heart's ability to pump blood. Instead of moving through its upper chambers, blood pools in an area called the left atrial appendage. Blood cells that are not in motion are likely to clot. If a clot travels through the bloodstream to the brain, it can cause a stroke.
WATCHMAN for AFib lowers your stroke risk by:
- Closing off the left atrial appendage so blood can't pool there.
- Preventing existing blood clots from traveling through the bloodstream.
WATCHMAN for AFib at Trinity: Why Choose Us?
You receive care from cardiologists who have advanced (fellowship) training in heart rhythm disorders and cardiovascular disease. These doctors are members of Cardiovascular Medicine, P.C, an organization committed to cardiac care excellence.
Highlights of our program include:
- Modern catheterization lab: We perform WATCHMAN procedures in a catheterization lab, a room dedicated to minimally invasive heart care. These spacious rooms have state-of-the-art equipment enabling us to deliver the high-quality care you'd expect from Trinity. Find out more about cardiac catheterization.
- Safe, comfortable experience: Before and after your procedure, you stay in a private room in a unit dedicated to caring for people recovering from cardiac procedures. Here, your nurses have special training in cardiac care, which lowers your risk of complications. The space also includes a comfortable waiting area for your loved ones.
- History of innovation: When new treatments become available, we are often among the first programs in the Quad Cities offering them. Our decades of experience delivering these therapies leads to safe procedures, so you achieve excellent results. Read about other Trinity Heart Center Milestones.
The WATCHMAN Procedure: What to Expect
The WATCHMAN device is acorn-shaped and about the size of a quarter. The top part closes off the left atrial appendage, and the bottom part, made of wire mesh, captures blood clots. We implant the device during a short, minimally invasive procedure. Most people return to daily activities within a few days.
During a WATCHMAN procedure, here's what to expect:
- You receive medication (general anesthesia) that puts you to sleep and temporarily blocks sensations, like pain.
- Surgeons make a small incision in your upper leg and insert a long, narrow tube (catheter).
- We use real-time imaging to guide the WATCHMAN device through the catheter and into the left atrial appendage.
- After securing the device, we remove the catheter and close the incision.
- You recover in our cardiac treatment unit overnight and go home the next day.
Connect with a member of our cardiovascular team by calling us at 309-779-5340.