Heart diseases can be a major hindrance to a healthy life and often require life-long treatment. One such heart condition is atrial fibrillation, which leads to an irregular heartbeat that can cause blood clots and, in turn, lead to a heart stroke. The traditional treatment of atrial fibrillation involves blood-thinning drugs that have their own set of potential side effects. However, technology has advanced, and Watchman heart devices have emerged as a game-changer in the field. The Watchman heart device is implanted in the heart to prevent blood clots from forming. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the details you need to know about the watchman procedure and how it can help you live a healthier and longer life.
What is Watchman Heart Device?
Watchman is a device that can be implanted into the left atrial appendage of your heart to block blood clot formation. The device is inserted through a small incision in your leg, and the surgeon guides it to the heart using a catheter. The device acts as a barrier, which prevents blood clots from leaving the left atrial appendage and traveling to other parts of your body. The device is designed to be permanent, and once it is implanted, it stays in the heart.
How Does It Help?
The Watchman heart device is an alternative to taking blood-thinning medication like warfarin. While blood-thinning medication can lower the risk of stroke, it also increases the risk of bleeding, especially in older adults. The device is a one-time implant, and after the procedure, you only need to take a short course of blood-thinning medication before you can stop it. Clinical trials have shown that the Watchman device significantly reduces the risk of stroke in people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation compared to standard therapy.
Who Can Get It?
The Watchman heart device is FDA-approved for people who have atrial fibrillation but are not suitable candidates for blood-thinning medication. Your doctor will evaluate your medical history, your bleeding risk, and other factors to determine if you are eligible for the procedure. The device can be used in people who have had a prior stroke, have a high risk of stroke, or have experienced serious bleeding with anticoagulant drugs.
Risks Associated with the Procedure
Like any medical procedure, there are risks associated with the implantation of the Watchman heart device. Some of the possible risks include bleeding, infection, and blood clots. Also, in rare cases, the device may come out of position or cause damage to the heart structure, leading to the need for further surgery. It is important to discuss all potential risks with your doctor before deciding to undergo the procedure.
The Watchman heart device is a ground-breaking technology that offers new hope to people suffering from atrial fibrillation who cannot take blood-thinning medication. The device has been approved by the FDA and has proven to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation. However, like any new technology, it is essential to weigh the benefits against the possible risks before making any decision. Talk to your doctor to know if the Watchman heart device is an option for you. This comprehensive guide has provided you with all the essential information you need to make an informed decision.