People with atrial fibrillation (a fast and irregular heartbeat in the heart’s upper chambers, the atria) are at increased risk of stroke caused by blood clots that form in the heart. Many people with atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) take a blood thinner such as warfarin to reduce the risk of clotting. Other blood thinners for this condition include Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Eliquis. But, blood thinners may not be the best solution for everyone.
The Watchman™ Device may be an alternative option. An implant the size of a quarter can permanently block off a part of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA), which is the source of most stroke-causing blood clots in patients with A-Fib. An outgrowth of the left atrium, the LAA forms a sort of cul-de-sac where blood may pool and clot.
The Watchman™ Device is implanted in the heart in a minimally invasive procedure using a catheter and expands to cover the LAA opening. This reduces stroke risk in A-Fib patients about as much as does taking warfarin.