Patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation now have an alternative to long-term warfarin medication therapy — the newly FDA-approved WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant. This is a breakthrough for patients with AF who are suitable for warfarin therapy, but who have reason to seek a non-drug alternative.
The WATCHMAN™ Implant closes off the left atrial appendage to keep harmful blood clots within the LAA from entering the bloodstream 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 implantation is a one-time procedure that usually takes about an hour.
Patients with atrial fibrillation have a five times greater risk of stroke. According to device manufacturer Boston Scientific, many of these patients would benefit from a WATCHMAN™ implant.
After the procedure, patients will stay in the hospital overnight for observation.