Typically done under general anesthesia, the procedure typically takes less than an hour to do.
Patients typically stay in the hospital one night and are able to be discharged to go home the following day. Painkillers such as aspirin will be provided for the patient to take for post-surgery pain management. After receiving a Watchman device, the patient will still need to remain on blood thinners for about 6 weeks. This allows the Watchman device to be completely sealed off with the patient’s own heart tissue that grows over the device, which takes on average about 45 days. Over 90% of watchman patients are able to come off blood thinners 6 weeks post-procedure. Coming off blood thinners can significantly improve a patient’s risk for bleeding and anemia.
The Watchman device procedure has already been through clinical trials and has been FDA approved since 2015. It is minimally-invasive and is a one-time procedure. The Watchman device has been implanted in over 50,000 patients in medical centers worldwide. It represents an excellent option for stroke risk reduction in patients with atrial fibrillation, especially in patients who are unable to tolerate standard recommended blood thinners.