Procedures like the WATCHMAN device implantation can help prevent stroke in AFib patients. By closing off the LAA, a thin, sack-like appendix arising from the left side of the heart that is believed to be the source of a majority of stroke-causing blood clots in people with non-valvular AFib, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin. Implantation is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour.

Specific indications for the WATCHMAN include:

  • CHADS2 2 or CHA2DS2-VASc 3
  • Relative contraindication to long-term AC
  • Ability to tolerate short-term AC (45 days) with Coumadin following implant

Patients with AFib have a five-fold increased risk of stroke and many therapies are systemic in nature requiring a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment. For more information or to refer a patient to University of Maryland Heart and Vascular Center, please call 410-328-6056 or download the UMMC MD Referral App.

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