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People with atrial fibrillation (Afib) have a higher risk of stroke due to an irregular heart rhythm that can cause blood to clot in the left atrial appendage (LAA) of the heart. If the blood clot travels to the brain, it can cut off the oxygen-rich blood supply.
Most often, patients who are at increased risk of stroke because of Afib are treated using anticoagulation medication, known as blood thinners, but not everyone can tolerate the medication. For those with Afib not caused by a heart valve problem, Inova Heart and Vascular Institute offers an alternative to medication using a minimally invasive procedure to implant the WATCHMAN FLX™ device.
What is WATCHMAN FLX™?
Like the original WATCHMAN technology, the next-generation WATCHMAN FLX™ is a parachute-like device inserted at the opening of the LAA to prevent clots from leaving the appendage and causing a stroke. The procedure is performed by a team of interventional cardiologists and cardiac electrophysiologists.
The recent improvements to the technology make the procedure more efficient, safer and appropriate for more patients. Insertion of the device is a one-time, minimally invasive procedure and typically involves only an overnight hospital stay.
Who is WATCHMAN appropriate for?
WATCHMAN is for those with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem who need an alternative to blood thinners.
Co-Directors of Inova's WATCHMAN Program:
Learn more about the WATCHMAN implant (Boston Scientific website)>>