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Watchman’s Procedure

Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona -  - General Cardiology

Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona

General Cardiology & Vascular Medicine located in Phoenix, Goodyear, Chandler, & Maricopa, AZ

Many people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation need to take blood thinners or anticoagulants to reduce the risk of developing blood clots. The Watchman™ procedure is an alternative treatment for atrial fibrillation for people who wish to stop taking blood thinners. At Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona in Phoenix, Maricopa, Goodyear, and Chandler, Arizona, the team performs the innovative Watchman’s procedure. Call or schedule a consultation online today.

Watchman’s Procedure

What is the Watchman’s procedure?

The Watchman’s procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia that causes the heart to beat quickly and irregularly. Those with atrial fibrillation are at greater risk of developing blood clots that may lead to a stroke or heart attack. 

Doctors prescribe blood thinners to prevent blood clots, which people with atrial fibrillation must take for the rest of their life. 

For the Watchman’s procedure, your cardiologist places the Watchman Implant in the left atrial appendage (LAA), the area of your heart where blood pools and clots form. The Watchman Implant closes off the LAA, preventing blood clots from escaping. 

Am I a candidate for the Watchman’s procedure?

The team at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona conducts comprehensive evaluations when you come in to discuss treatment options for your atrial fibrillation. They determine if you’re a candidate for the Watchman’s procedure after your consultation. 

They may consider you a candidate for the minimally invasive procedure if you have non-valvular atrial fibrillation and need to take prescription blood thinners. 

When deciding if the Watchman procedure makes the right choice for you, they also consider your age, medical history, and personal preferences.

What happens during the Watchman’s procedure?

The Watchman’s procedure is a minimally invasive one-time surgery. Your cardiologist makes a small cut in your upper leg and inserts a catheter in a blood vessel. They guide the catheter and the implant towards the LAA in your heart and place the device.

Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona perform the Watchman’s procedure at the hospital under general anesthesia. You need to spend the night in the hospital for monitoring after the placement of the implant.

What happens after the Watchman’s procedure?

After your Watchman’s procedure, you continue to take your blood-thinning medication for up to 45 days or until the implant is securely in place. During the healing process, your heart tissue grows over the implant to create the blood clot barrier. 

You then take clopidogrel — an antiplatelet medication — and aspirin over the next six months. The team discontinues the clopidogrel, and you continue on the aspirin. 

To schedule your Watchman’s procedure consultation at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona, call the office or book an appointment online today.