WATCHMAN Procedure & Device

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If you have AFib (an irregular heartbeat) and you can’t use long-term blood thinners to lower your risk for stroke, Baystate Health offers a solution: WATCHMAN. 

What is the WATCHMAN Procedure?

WATCHMAN is a one-time procedure that lowers your lifetime risk for stroke if you have AFib (not caused by a heart valve problem) and you have also experienced serious bleeding while on blood thinners.

With a AFIB or irregular heartbeat, blood doesn’t flow as well as it should through your heart. As a result, blood may collect in your heart and form a clot. A blood clot can then travel to your brain and cause a stroke.

Medicines like warfarin (commonly known as Coumadin) can help prevent clots and stroke, but long-term blood thinners aren’t right for everybody.

Baystate Medical Center now offers this minimally invasive surgery where a left atrial appendage closure device is implanted into your heart. The WATCHMAN device closes off your LAA to keep blood clots from escaping—which reduces your risk for stroke permanently.

WATCHMAN also reduces the bleeding risk, frequent blood tests and dietary restrictions that come with warfarin.

If you have questions about the WATCHMAN procedure, call 413-794-4011.

The Only Hospital in Western Massachusetts to Perform the Watchman Procedure

More than 80,000 WATCHMAN procedures have been performed worldwide. And 10 years of clinical studies have shown that the procedure is safe and effective.

Learn More About WATCHMAN

Are You a Good Fit for WATCHMAN?

You are a good candidate for WATCHMAN if you have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib) not caused by a heart valve problem and you:

  • Have a history of serious bleeding while taking blood thinners.
  • Have a lifestyle, occupation, or condition that puts you at risk for serious bleeding.
  • Are having trouble with your warfarin treatment plan and a different type of blood thinner is not an option.
What to Expect from Surgery
Your heart care team at Baystate will work closely with you to help you understand if WATCHMAN is right for you.

The WATCHMAN procedure is performed skilled electrophysiologists (heart rhythm specialists) and interventional cardiologists.

WATCHMAN can be done using minimally invasive techniques and does not require open-heart surgery. Doctors make a small cut in the upper leg, then insert a narrow tube through which the WATCHMAN is guided into the left atrial appendage (LAA).

The entire procedure—performed under general anesthesia—takes about an hour and typically requires only an overnight stay in the hospital.

After the procedure, patients take warfarin until their LAA is permanently closed off—typically 45 days. During that time, heart tissue grows over the WATCHMAN implant to form a barrier against blood clots.
What Size is the Watchman Device?
The Watchman device comes in 5 sizes: 21 mm, 24 mm, 27 mm, 30 mm, 33 mm.
watchman sizes

5 Sizes to Fit Your Heart

The WATCHMAN implant is about the size of a quarter and made from light and compact materials.
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