Cape Cod Healthcare now offers qualified patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternative to long-term warfarin medication with the newly approved Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atrium) beat too fast and with irregular rhythm (fibrillation). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, currently affecting more than five million Americans. Twenty percent of all strokes occur in patients with AF, and AF-related strokes are more frequently fatal and disabling.
The Watchman Implant is designed to close the LAA in order to keep harmful blood clots from the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke for higher risk patients with non-valvular AF.
For patients with AF who are considered suitable for warfarin by their physicians but who have reason to seek a non-drug alternative, the Watchman LAAC Implant is an implant alternative to reduce their risk of AF-related stroke. The Watchman Implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots from the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.
“The new Watchman LAAC Implant provides physicians with a breakthrough stroke risk reduction option for patients with non-valvular AF,” said Peter Friedman, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS, a cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Cape Cod Hospital, who performs the Watchman procedure. “For patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are seeking an alternative to warfarin, the Watchman Implant offers a potentially life-changing stroke risk treatment option which could free them from the challenges of long-term warfarin therapy.”
Implanting the Watchman Device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.
To learn more about the Watchman procedure offered at Cape Cod Healthcare, please visit https://www.capecodhealth.org/care-treatment/cardiac/left-atrial-appendage-closure/.