Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (Watchman Device)
Atrial fibrillation (a-fib) is the most common arrhythmia we treat in adults. It is an abnormal rhythm of the receiving chambers of the heart (left and right atrium). The heart rhythm can make your heart beat fast and can also cause you to have a stroke. Treatment with blood thinners are a very effective way to prevent stroke, however can cause bleeding. The Watchman device is a small plug that is placed in the left atrial appendage as an alternative to taking blood thinners. The left atrial appendage is a small outpouching of the heart where the large majority of blood clots form that can cause a stroke, and the Watchman is designed to plug it up so no clots can travel out.
The procedure utilizes general anesthesia, and involves a single needle stick to the groin. Through the groin a catheter is positioned into the left atrial appendage. Utilizing x-ray, contrast, and echocardiography, a plug is deployed into the left atrial appendage. The procedure is safe with low complication rates. If the procedure is effective you will no longer need to take blood thinners to reduce your risk of having a stroke with a-fib.
For more information on WATCHMAN please visit www.watchman.com