Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device
The newly approved Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) implant offers patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternative to long-term warfarin medication.
For patients with AF who are considered suitable for warfarin by their physicians but who have reason to seek a non-drug alternative, the WATCHMAN LAAC Implant is an implant alternative to reduce their risk of AF-related stroke. The WATCHMAN Implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots from 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 warfarin.
People with atrial fibrillation have a five times greater risk of stroke. Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to pool and form clots in the LAA. For patients with non-valvular AF, the LAA is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots. If a clot forms in the LAA, it can increase one’s risk of having a stroke. Blood clots can break loose and travel in the blood stream to the brain, lungs, and other parts of the body.
Implanting the WATCHMAN Device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.
The WATCHMAN Implant has been approved in Europe since 2005 and is FDA-approved in the United States. It has been implanted in more than 10,000 patients and is approved in more than 70 countries around the world.
What is Atrial Fibrillation (AF)?
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atrium) beat too fast and with irregular rhythm (fibrillation). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, currently affecting more than five million Americans. Twenty percent of all strokes occur in patients with AF. The most common treatment to reduce stroke risk in patients with AF is blood-thinning warfarin medication. Despite its proven efficacy, long-term warfarin medication is not well-tolerated by some patients and carries a risk for bleeding complications.
To learn more, watch this explanatory video.
For additional information download the Watchman brochure or call 804-521-5815.