As the first in Michigan to offer the WATCHMAN device, the Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute utilizes an FDA-approved, minimally-invasive procedure to implant the device as an alternative treatment for those on blood thinners, or as an option for those who cannot take blood thinners.
How the WATCHMAN works
Through a minimally-invasive procedure, the WATCHMAN device permanently closes off the left atrial appendage in your heart. The left atrial appendage is located in the top left chamber of the heart. As blood is pumped, it fills the left atrial appendage, which empties with each heartbeat. In patients with heart abnormalities like arrhythmias, blood can pool, leaving you at risk for dangerous blood clots or stroke.
The WATCHMAN device is guided through a catheter sheath (plastic tube) inserted into a vein near the groin until it is in place at the opening of the left atrial appendage. Once in place, the device expands and permanently seals off the left atrial appendage so that blood clots cannot form.
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This device greatly benefits those who are at risk of stroke, developing blood clots or those who have an arrhythmia, like atrial fibrillation. Approximately 95 percent of strokes that occur due to blood clots in patients with heart arrhythmias are from clots that form in the left atrial appendage.
For those who cannot take blood thinners, or for those who need an alternative treatment if blood thinners aren’t working, the WATCHMAN device is another option.
As a minimally-invasive procedure, the WATCHMAN device is a safe alternative for patients of all ages and conditions.