For patients with afib who are considered suitable for warfarin by their physicians but who have reason to seek a non-drug alternative, the WATCHMAN™ is an alternative to reduce their risk of afib-related stroke.
The WATCHMAN™ 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.
Left atrial appendage.
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 afib, 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.
The WATCHMAN™ Device can be implanted safely, enables patients to discontinue warfarin, and reduces afib stroke risk comparably to warfarin. In addition, the WATCHMAN Device demonstrated statistically superior reductions in hemorrhagic stroke, disabling stroke and cardiovascular death compared to warfarin over long-term follow-up:
- 85% in hemorrhagic stroke
- 63% in disabling stroke
- 56% in cardiovascular death
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.
More about Atrial Fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation (afib) is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atrium) beat too fast and with irregular rhythm (fibrillation). Afib is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, currently affecting more than five million Americans.
On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the WATCHMAN™ LAAC Implant ... The Watchman implant was studied in two randomized clinical trials and several clinical registries. The implant was approved in Europe in 2009. Wikipedia
The WATCHMAN™ Implant is designed to close the LAA in order to keep harmful blood clots from the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke for higher risk patients with non-valvular afib.
For more information on the WATCHMAN™ implant, visit: the WATCHMAN™ Implant website. Ask your cardiologist or doctor if the WATCHMAN™ implant is right for you.
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