Rochester Regional Health is home to the region’s most experienced structural heart and heart rhythm programs, serving as a major center for treating patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) from across Central and Western New York. Our expert cardiologists and electrophysiologists provide a comprehensive range of heart rhythm and AFib care, including offering world-class expertise and innovative treatments like WATCHMAN.
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a common irregular heart rhythm that arises from the top chambers (or atria) of the heart.
AFib significantly increases your risk for stroke, affecting the heart's ability to pump blood causing 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.The majority of strokes (> 90%) in AFib are caused by clots formed in the LAA.
Blood thinners are typically used to prevent blood clots from forming in the LAA. But:
WATCHMAN is an effective alternative to blood thinners.
WATCHMAN is a one-time procedure that implants a permanent medical device into the LAA. Once implanted, the LAA is closed and the WATCHMAN prevents blood clots from forming and escaping from the LAA.
WATCHMAN is a minimally invasive procedure without any incision or stitches and is currently the only FDA-approved alternative to warfarin (blood thinners) to reduce stroke in AFib.
The benefits of WATCHMAN include:
You are a candidate for WATCHMAN if you:
Interested in the WATCHMAN procedure? Take this short survey to see if you are a candidate.
Your implanting doctor may require you to undergo a transesophagel echocardiogram (TEE) or CT scan to better understand the anatomy (or size and shape) of your LAA to help plan 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 the leg and then use a long long tube (or catheter) and TEE image guidance to deliver the WATCHMAN device to the right location. The device can be implanted successfully in > 95% of patients.
Procedure complications can happen but are rare. Your physician will discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure including alternative treatment options.
Immediately after the procedure, you'll go to recovery and be on bedrest for a few hours. Typically, you can leave the hospital the same (or the following) day with minimal restrictions.
Follow-up care after the procedure includes:
*If you cannot to take blood thinners, Rochester Regional Hospital is participating in a clinical trial (ASAP-TOO) that is studying WATCHMAN in patients who cannot take blood thinners. For more information about this trial, please contact 585.922.3536 or email [email protected].
Video provided courtesy of Boston Scientific. © 2019 Boston Scientific Corporation or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
How To Get Started
To schedule a consultation or to make a referral, call us at 585.442.5320 or contact our coordinator, Maria Westra at 585-922-6017 or [email protected].
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