The WATCHMAN Device Implant Procedure

Reducing Stroke Risk in Patients with AFib (Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation)

Ellis Hospital is among the first hospitals in New York State to implant the new Boston Scientific WATCHMAN, an alternative to blood thinners, in people with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem. This one-time procedure may reduce stroke risk for a lifetime. It works differently from blood thinners like warfarin. WATCHMAN is a permanent implant that closes off a part of the heart where blood clots commonly form.

The WATCHMAN Device and How It Works

The WATCHMAN is a small medical device which lowers the risk of stroke for adults with AFib (atrial fibrillation). This device, about the size of a quarter, is implanted in your heart without open heart surgery and helps keep harmful blood clots from entering your bloodstream. It cannot be seen outside the body and becomes a permanent part of your heart.

How it works to prevent strokes

More than 90% of strokes in patients with AFib are caused by blood clots that start in the heart and then travel to the brain. Most clots start in a small pouch attached to the upper left chamber of the heart. In medical terms, the heart chamber is the atrium and the small pouch is the left atrial appendage.

The WATCHMAN device is implanted in this pouch to block it off. This helps prevent clots from breaking off and traveling to other parts of the body.

The benefits of the WATCHMAN:
  • Your risk of stroke is reduced.
  • Over time, you may be able to stop taking your blood thinning medicine.

To find out if you qualify to have the WATCHMAN procedure, click on the Learn More button to download a brochure and pamphlet which will provide you with further details on if you qualify, how the device is implanted, and what you can expect.

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