Dr. Peykar is pleased to offer the Watchman left atrial appendage closure device to patients as an alternative to the lifelong use of warfarin for people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem (also known as non-valvular AFib).
This permanent heart implant effectively reduces the risk of stroke—without the risk of bleeding that can come with the long-term use of warfarin (the most common blood thinner). What’s more, WATCHMAN can eliminate the regular blood tests and food-and-drink restrictions that come with warfarin. (Warfarin is also known as
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, affects your heart’s ability to pump blood normally. This can cause blood to pool in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage, or LAA. There, blood cells can stick together and form a clot. When a blood clot escapes from the LAA and travels to another part of the body, it can cut off the blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke.
In people with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem, more than 90% of stroke-causing clots that come from the heart are formed in the LAA. That’s why closing off this part of the heart is an effective way to reduce stroke risk.
The WATCHMAN Implant fits right into your LAA. It’s designed to permanently close it off and keep those blood clots from escaping. WATCHMAN is about the size of a quarter and made from very light and compact materials commonly used in many other medical implants.
Following the WATCHMAN procedure, you’ll take warfarin (a common blood thinner) for 45 days or until your LAA is permanently closed off. During this time, heart tissue will grow over the implant to form a barrier against blood clots. Dr. Peykar will monitor this process by taking pictures of your heart with ultrasound (TEE) to see when you can stop taking warfarin or your other blood thinner.
You will then be prescribed clopidogrel (also known as Plavix®) and aspirin to take for 6 months. After that, you’ll continue to take aspirin on an ongoing basis. A very small number of patients may need to keep taking blood thinners long term.
In a clinical trial:
92% of patients were able to stop taking warfarin just 45 days after the procedure. 99% of patients were able to stop taking warfarin within 1 year after the procedure.
Please contact our office to see if you are a candidate for this procedure