The WATCHMAN FLX™ procedure is an effective alternative to blood thinners that reduces the risk of stroke. It is a one-time procedure that implants a permanent medical device into the left atrial appendage (LAA). Once implanted, the appendage is closed up and the WATCHMAN prevents blood clots from forming. The WATCHMAN is ideal for patients who suffer from Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).
Interested in WATCHMAN FLX™? Call (585) 260-0879 or contact your PCP.
AFib is a common irregular heart rhythm that arises from the top chambers of the heart. AFib significantly increases your risk for stroke. It affects the heart’s ability to pump blood and causes blood to pool in the left atrial appendage (LAA).
In the LAA, blood can stick together to form a clot, escape the LAA, and travel anywhere in the body. If the blood clot travels to the brain, it can cut off the blood supply to the brain and cause a stroke. More than 90% of strokes in AFib are caused by blood clots formed in the LAA.
Blood clots that form in the LAA are typically prevented by blood thinners, but blood thinners also significantly increase the risk for serious or life-threatening bleeding. Many patients have difficulty staying on blood thinners due to their health history or lifestyle.
You might need an alternative to blood thinners if you have a:
The WATCHMAN FLX™ procedure allows patients to stay off blood thinners, which reduces their risk of bleeding. It is a minimally invasive procedure without any incision or stitches and is currently an FDA-approved alternative to blood thinners to reduce stroke in AFib.
Watch the video below where Dr. Depta answers the most commonly searched questions about the WATCHMAN procedure.
Not everyone is a candidate for the WATCHMAN FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Implant procedure. You are a candidate for WATCHMAN if you:
Before the Procedure
The device is implanted successfully in more than 95% of patients. You'll meet with our nurse navigator and physician to discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure including alternative treatment options.
You may be required to undergo a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) or CT scan to better understand your anatomy and help plan the procedure.
During the Procedure
The WATCHMAN procedure takes approximately one hour to perform and is done under general anesthesia. Your physician will insert the device using a vein in your leg, and then use a long tube (or catheter) and TEE image guidance to deliver the WATCHMAN device to the left atrial appendage.
After the Procedure
Following the procedure, patients go to recovery and are on bed rest for a few hours. Typically, they can leave the hospital the same day or the following day with minimal restrictions.