Watchman™ is a minimally invasive procedure for people with atrial fibrillation (AFib) who take blood thinners. The team of cardiovascular specialists at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center include interventional cardiologists who perform the Watchman procedure. To learn more about Watchman, call the office in Dearborn, Detroit, or Trenton, Michigan, or schedule a consultation online today.
Watchman is a surgical implant device for people with atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib is a type of cardiac arrhythmia that causes an irregular heartbeat.
In people with AFib, the upper chambers of the heart — atria — are out of sync with the lower chambers — ventricles, causing a slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat. The irregular heartbeat affects the flow of blood from the upper chamber to the lower chamber.
This change in blood flow may cause blood to pool in the left atrial appendage (LAA), which is a tiny sac in the muscle of the upper left chamber of the heart. The pooling blood may clump together, forming blood clots.
People with AFib are at greater risk of having a stroke, which results when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain. Primary treatment for AFib includes medications to control the rhythm of the heartbeat and blood thinners.
The Watchman is a permanent implant device that fits in the LAA, closing it off to prevent blood from pooling and forming blood clots.
The cardiovascular specialists at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center determine who’s a candidate for the Watchman device after a consultation. If you take blood thinners to manage your AFib and you’re searching for a non-drug option, then the Watchman device may work for you.
The team may also consider you a candidate for Watchman if your blood thinners cause serious bleeding or you’re at risk of serious bleeding because of your lifestyle or job.
Your cardiovascular specialist reviews the details of your Watchman procedure at your consultation, so you know what to expect. They use minimally invasive tools and techniques when placing the device, reducing your recovery time.
To place the Watchman, your cardiovascular specialist makes an incision in your upper leg and inserts a catheter into a blood vessel. They use the catheter to guide the Watchman device and place it in your LAA.
The Watchman procedure takes about an hour, and your surgeon performs the procedure using general anesthesia, so you’re asleep during surgery.
You can expect an overnight stay in the hospital following your Watchman procedure. You need to continue to take your blood thinners for the next 45 days. During this time, tissue grows over the Watchman, keeping it in place.
To find out more about the Watchman and how it might work for you, call ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center, or schedule an appointment online today.