Talking to Your Cardiologist stethoscope graphic

Talking to Your Cardiologist

You likely have more than one doctor that you trust with your health: a primary care physician for your general health needs and a cardiologist for your heart.

If you have atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem and you’re looking for an alternative to blood thinners, then it’s important to talk to your cardiologist about your options. Your cardiologist has the special knowledge needed to help you decide if WATCHMAN is right for you. If you don’t have a cardiologist, your primary care physician can refer you to one.

Tell your cardiologist about any falls or accidents, unusual bruising, or symptoms of bleeding that you’ve had while on blood thinners. And be sure to ask your cardiologist about the risks and benefits associated with WATCHMAN.

Determining Your Cost and Coverage clipboard graphic

Determining Your Cost and Coverage

WATCHMAN is covered for eligible Medicare patients who meet certain national coverage criteria. It’s also covered by an increasing number of commercial insurers. Your cardiologist’s office may be able to help you find out what your coverage is. 

WATCHMAN is different from blood thinners not only in how it works, but in how much it costs. While warfarin must be taken every day for life and represents an ongoing cost, WATCHMAN is a one-time procedure and one-time cost. This means WATCHMAN can save you money over time. Over a 5-year period, the estimated average out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients were lower for WATCHMAN than for warfarin.1

Finding a WATCHMAN Medical Center map graphic

Finding a WATCHMAN Medical Center

More than 250 of the nation’s top medical centers are now implanting WATCHMAN. If you and your cardiologist decide that WATCHMAN is right for you, you may be referred to one of these centers. 

At the medical center you and your cardiologist select, a team of trained specialists will implant WATCHMAN in your heart. About 45 days after your procedure, one of the specialists will check your heart to see whether you can stop taking warfarin. 

It’s important to understand that neither WATCHMAN nor blood thinners cure atrial fibrillation (AFib) or its symptoms, like irregular heart rhythm. After getting the WATCHMAN Implant, you’ll continue to see your cardiologist to manage your AFib.

WATCHMAN Medical Centers


Find a medical center near you that’s implanting WATCHMAN. Note that there may be additional medical centers in your area that are not listed here. Talk to your cardiologist about choosing the right center for you.

This information is compiled by Boston Scientific (“BSC”) as a reference tool for locating implanting physicians who have used the WATCHMAN Device. This database may not include all physicians that use or have used BSC’s products. No physician has been paid or received a fee to be included in this database.

BSC does not verify or monitor the license, credentials, accreditations or qualifications of any physician listed in the database, and is not responsible for the medical advice of the physicians included in this database. BSC is not responsible and shall not be liable to you or others for any decision made or action taken by you in reliance on this information obtained from this database.

Inclusion of a physician in the database does not mean that BSC endorses or recommends such physician. Similarly, the fact that a physician is not included in the database does not mean that physician is not qualified.

The results are listed by proximity to the search criteria.

The WATCHMAN Alternative


Get a quick guide on WATCHMAN that you can share with your doctor or loved one. 

Here are all the videos and guides you need to help you discuss WATCHMAN with your doctor or loved one.

WATCHMAN is for people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem who need an alternative to warfarin. This website is intended to provide patients and caregivers with some information about the WATCHMAN Implant. It may help prepare you for talking to your doctor about your options for reducing stroke risk.

Important Safety Information

The WATCHMAN Device is a permanent implant designed to close the left atrial appendage in the heart in an effort to reduce the risk of stroke.

With all medical procedures there are risks associated with the implant procedure and the use of the device. The risks include but are not limited to accidental heart puncture, air embolism, allergic reaction, anemia, anesthesia risks, arrhythmias, AV (Arteriovenous) fistula, bleeding or throat pain from the TEE (Trans Esophageal Echo) probe, blood clot or air bubbles in the lungs or other organs, bruising at the catheter insertion site, clot formation on the WATCHMAN™ Closure Device, cranial bleed, excessive bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, groin puncture bleed, hypotension, infection/pneumonia, pneumothorax, pulmonary edema, pulmonary vein obstruction, renal failure, stroke, thrombosis and transient ischemic attack. In rare cases death can occur.

Be sure to talk with your doctor so that you thoroughly understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of the WATCHMAN Device.

References

  1. Armstrong S, Amorosi SL, Patel P, et al. An analysis of patient out-of-pocket spending for stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(12_S):A349.

Top