What does the watchman device do? The WATCHMAN Device is an alternative to blood thinners now available to prevent blood clots from forming in the hearts of patients with A-Fib.
Who qualifies for a Watchman device? Eligible patients must: Have an increased risk for stroke and be recommended for anticoagulation (CHA2DS2-VASc ≥ 2 for men, ≥ 3 for women)* Be suitable for short-term oral anticoagulation. Have an appropriate reason to seek a non-pharmacologic alternative to OACs.
What are the cons of the Watchman device?
- AV fistula.
- Blood clots/air bubbles in the lungs.
- GI bleeding.
- Renal failure.
- Accidental heart puncture.
- Complications from anesthesia.
- Bleeding in throat from TEE.
How long does the watchman device last? The procedure is done by a cardiologist, who makes a small incision in the upper leg, inserts a narrow tube, and guides the implant into the LAA. The Watchman is a minimally invasive, permanent, one-time procedure that lasts a lifetime.