The Watchman™ device is a treatment for atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients who need an alternative treatment to traditional blood-thinning medicine. The Arizona Heart Rhythm Center in Phoenix, Peoria (Sun City), Gilbert, Prescott, and Yuma, Arizona, specializes in treating heart arrhythmias like AFib and offers the Watchman device. Call the office nearest you today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about this innovative treatment.
The Watchman is an implantable device for the treatment of AFib (pronounced AY-Fib) that’s not caused by a heart valve problem.
AFib is an arrhythmia that causes the heart to beat irregularly or too quickly. The arrhythmia is caused by problems with the electrical signal that dictates the rhythm of your heartbeat. This electrical signal also controls how your heart muscle contracts and moves blood through each heart chamber.
With AFib, there are problems with the electrical signaling in the atria — the upper chambers of your heart. This irregular signaling disrupts the normal rhythm, causing the contractions of the lower chamber to be out of sync with the upper chamber.
This irregular heartbeat allows blood to pool in an area of your heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). When blood pools, it puts you at risk of developing a blood clot that can lead to a stroke.
The Watchman implant fits perfectly in the LAA, preventing the blood from pooling and discouraging the formation of blood clots.
The cardiovascular specialists at the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center determine if you’re a candidate for the Watchman after a consultation. They could consider you a candidate if you have AFib and you’re at risk of having a stroke and can’t take anticoagulant medication.
Your cardiovascular specialist reviews the details of your Watchman procedure at your consultation so that you know what to expect. When implanting the device, they use a general anesthetic, which means you sleep through the procedure.
Placement takes about an hour. Your surgeon first measures your LAA to determine what size Watchmen device you need. They then make a tiny puncture wound in your upper leg and insert a catheter with the Watchman device into a blood vessel and advance it towards your heart.
Once at your LAA, your surgeon inserts the Watchman and removes the catheter. Your provider has you stay at the hospital overnight and sends you home the next day.
You need to continue to take your anticoagulant medication for about 45 days or until your LAA fully closes.
Call the Arizona Heart Rhythm Center today or schedule a consultation online to learn if the Watchman implant is right for you.