A One-time Procedure That May Reduce Stroke Risk and Eliminate the Need for Blood Thinners
Tulane Medical Center now offers the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) device, a treatment that reduces atrial fibrillation (AFib) stroke risk and may eliminate the need for blood thinners in people with non-valvular AFib. For people considered suitable for warfarin by their doctors, but have reason to seek an alternative, Watchman could be an implant-based option.
Are You a Candidate for the Watchman Implant?
The Watchman implant is indicated for people who:
- Have non-valvular atrial fibrillation
- Are at increased risk for a stroke
- Are recommended for blood thinning medicines
- Are suitable for warfarin
- Have a reason to seek a non-drug alternative to warfarin
When considering whether or not you are a candidate for the Watchman, here are a few questions you can ask your physician:
- What causes my AFib?
- Am I at greater risk of having a stroke?
- What treatment options can help reduce risk of stroke?
- Do I need blood thinners? What kind (aspirin, warfarin)?
- What are risks and side effects of blood thinners?
- What other treatment options can help reduce my risk of a stroke?
What to Expect
The minimally invasive procedure does not require open-heart surgery. It takes about an hour and is performed under general anesthesia.
Like in a stent procedure, your doctor will make a small cut in your upper leg, insert a flexible tube (catheter) into a vein and guide the Watchman into your heart. The device never needs to be replaced and is invisible on your body.
You will stay in the hospital overnight and recovery takes about 24 hours.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, please contact the Tulane Cardiology Clinic at (504) 988-6113.