WATCHMAN Device for AFib
One-time procedure that may reduce stroke risk in people with AFib.
UnityPoint Health® - Trinity is the first health system in the Quad Cities to implant the WATCHMAN device to reduce stroke risk for patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) not caused by a heart valve problem. The minimally invasive procedure takes a short amount of time and allows recipients of the device to be discharged the following day with return to their normal activities in a few days.
Also known as the atrial appendage closure. This procedure is appropriate for patients at risk of developing clots in the left atrium and may reduce a patient's risk of stroke and eliminate the need to take blood-thinning medication. The device works by closing off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots that can form in the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced, and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking their blood-thinning medication.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a common heart rhythm irregularity that can cause blood clots, increasing your risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. Blood-thinning medications like warfarin can help reduce the risk of stroke. But some patients cannot take warfarin because they are at high risk of bleeding.
The WATCHMAN device has been implanted in more than 100,000 patients worldwide and is performed in a one-time procedure. It's a permanent device that doesn't have to be replaced and can't be seen outside the body. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Patients commonly stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day. WATCHMAN is a small device placed in the part of the heart where clots are most likely to form. The device acts as a barrier to keep clots from entering the bloodstream. Physicians implant WATCHMAN through a catheter inserted in the leg, similar to inserting a stent.
For more information, contact your primary care provider or call Trinity Heart Center at (309) 779-2145.