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The most common treatment for managing AF-related stroke risk is the use of blood thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin®). Warfarin and other approved oral anticoagulants effectively reduce the risk of cardioembolic stroke, however are not well tolerated by some patients and carry a risk for bleeding complications. Additionally, the effectiveness of warfarin varies because of interactions with certain foods and medications, thus requiring frequent blood tests and dose adjustments.
Surgical removal of the left atrial appendage (LAA) has been performed for more than 70 years. Although it is an established procedure, surgical LAA resection is an invasive, open-heart procedure and the sutures or staples often fail to demonstrate consistent closure across patients.
The WATCHMAN™ LAAC Device offers a new stroke risk reduction option for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are seeking an alternative to long-term warfarin therapy.
The WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Device provides an implant-based option for patients who need protection from non-valvular AF-related stroke.
The WATCHMAN LAAC Device is FDA approved and is commercially available in more than 55 countries, with over 10,000 implants performed worldwide.
The WATCHMAN device implant procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia in a catheterization laboratory setting using a standard transseptal technique.
The LAAC implant procedure usually lasts about an hour and the patient is typically in the hospital for 24 hours following the procedure.
A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is performed to measure the left atrial appendage (LAA) to determine which size WATCHMAN Device to be implanted.