Left Atrial Appendage Closure
The heart and vascular team at PIH Health offers patients with non-valvular contributory atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternate treatment to long-term warfarin medication and reduce the risk of stroke with the Watchman FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) implant.
What's Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation (AFIB) is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat too fast and with irregular rhythm (fibrillation). AFIB can cause blood to collect and form clots in an area of your heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA).
If a blood clot forms, it can travel through an artery to the brain and cause a stroke.
Anyone can have a stroke no matter your age, race or gender. You have a higher chance of experiencing a stroke if you have:
- Atrial fibrillation (AFIB)
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
What's the Watchman FLX™ Implant?
The Watchman FLX™ implant keeps harmful blood clots from entering the bloodstream by closing off the LAA. The implant may help:
- Reduce your risk of stroke
- Eliminate your need for blood thinner medication, such as Warfarin
- Increase your long-term outcomes
What to Expect
The Watchman Implant is about the size of a quarter, and you cannot see it outside of the body. You’ll receive a one-time implant, typically while you’re under general anesthesia. Your doctor will guide the device into your heart through a flexible tube (catheter) inserted in a vein in your upper leg.
You’ll stay in the hospital overnight since recovery typically takes about 24 hours. After a few months, you may be able to stop taking warfarin.