For patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) who cannot tolerate blood thinners, the Watchman® device can be a life-changer. Watchman closes off the area of the heart where blood clots can form without the need of open heart surgery. The Medical Center at Bowling Green is the first and only hospital in Southcentral Kentucky to offer this procedure.
New Watchman Device helps patients with AFib get off blood thinners
Sometimes, patients with AFib need an alternative to blood thinners because they are at a higher risk of bleeding. The Watchman device is a permanent implant that can help those patients reduce or eliminate their need of blood thinners.
Watchman is placed without the need of open heart surgery. Using a catheter, a cardiologist or electrophysiologist implants the device is at the opening of the Left Atrial Appendage, where blood clots can form in patients with AFib.
Once the device is implanted, patients spend a night or two in the hospital. After around 45 days, their physician may determine they can go off of blood thinners.
Watchman is the only device approved by the FDA to help prevent strokes in patients with AFib. The procedure is successful in a majority of patients and does not require additional surgery or medications.
If you are diagnosed with AFib, talk to your doctor about the risks associated with blood thinners and if Watchman might be right for you.