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How to Reduce Stroke Risk in Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
without Blood Thinners 

Medical Device for AFib Helps Prevent Blood Clots

WATCHMANTM is an implant that blocks the Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) in people with AFib who seek an alternative to blood thinners, which are anticoagulant medications including warfarin, also known as COUMADIN®. Blood thinner side effects, such as bleeding, can make it difficult for some people to use anticoagulant medication on a long-term basis.        

This video shows an animated overview of the entire procedure, and is intended for
general information on the use of the WATCHMAN™ Device. 

First in NH and New England to Implant Watchman after its FDA Approval 
New England Heart & Vascular Institute was among the first in the nation to offer the WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device (LAAC) following its FDA approval in March and the first in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts. This minimally invasive procedure for AFib takes about an hour and typically requires an overnight stay in the hospital. The Watchman Implant closes off an  appendage on the left side of the heart where blood clots can form and enter the blood stream, causing a stroke.   

Bloodthinners Eliminated in Most Patients 45 Days after Implant 
Following the Watchman Implant procedure, patients must use warfarin or Coumadin for about six weeks. After 45 days, a Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) will confirm that the Watchman implant is successfully positioned and that the An implant the size of a quarter blocks an appendage of the heart where, because of an irregular heartbeat, blood can pool, clot and enter the blood stream causing a strokeappendage is closed. Clinical trials (PROTECT AF and PREVAIL) conducted to confirm the safety and efficacy of the Watchman device found 92 percent of patients studied were able to stop taking warfarin or  Coumadin 45 days after implant and over 99 percent stopped taking blood thinners within one year.
An implant the size of a quarter blocks an appendage of the 
heart where, because of an irregular heartbeat, blood can pool, 
clot and enter the blood stream causing a stroke.

How is the WATCHMAN Device Implanted?
A WATCHMAN Implant is a one-time implant typically performed under general anesthesia. Similar to a stent procedure, your doctor will guide the WATCHMAN Implant into your heart through a flexible tube (catheter) inserted through a vein in your upper leg. The implant does not require open heart surgery and does not need to be replaced. Your doctor will cross from the right side of the heart to the left side of the heart. Once the position is confirmed, your doctor will release the implant to leave it permanently fixed in your heart. You would then need to stay in the hospital overnight and recovery typically takes about twenty-four hours. 

Who is eligible for the WATCHMAN Implant?
Watchman is not for everyone. Like any cardiac procedure, there are risks, some of which are serious. Patients and their physicians should carefully consider risks and the benefits of the device before scheduling an implant.

To determine eligibility for the Watchman Implant, CMC’s New England Heart & Vascular Institute conducts a history, physical and TEE (Transesophageal Echocardiogram).

For more information, call CMC’s AFib treatment program at 603.669.0413

Learn more:

Watchman Patient Brochure

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  • (603) 626-2626
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  • (603) 663-5270
  • (603) 663-6431
  • (603) 663-8031
  • (603) 663-6667
  • (603) 669-0413
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  • (603) 663-8000
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