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WATCHMAN may be a life-changing alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners for those who need one. In a one-time procedure, WATCHMAN effectively reduces the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem.1
Over 1/3 of people with AFib feel trapped between the fear of having a stroke and fear of the risks associated with blood thinners. In fact, more than 4 in 5 people with AFib taking a blood thinner (83%) say they would be willing to try a different treatment to help reduce their risk of stroke.2
As a permanent implant, WATCHMAN doesn’t come with the same bleeding risks associated with the long-term use of blood thinners.3 This makes it an important option for people with a history or risk of serious bleeding on blood thinners.
Real People and WATCHMAN
If you have atrial fibrillation and you take a blood thinner to reduce your stroke risk, you’re probably aware of the bleeding risks that come with your medication. The longer you’re on blood thinners, the more you’re at risk for a bleeding episode.
Hear about these real patients who had serious bleeding events while taking blood thinners. In the following videos, they talk about their experiences, the effects on their families, and why their cardiologists recommended WATCHMAN. If you, too, have a history of serious bleeding, then WATCHMAN may be right for you.
You may also be a candidate for WATCHMAN if you have a lifestyle or condition that increases your risk for serious bleeding. Certain lifestyles or conditions may increase your bleeding risk by putting you at higher risk for falls or making you prone to injury in other ways. Talk to your cardiologist about your risk.
Getting WATCHMAN During COVID‑19
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Hear from people who chose to have the WATCHMAN procedure during COVID‑19 and how it’s helped them find comfort.
If You Struggle with Blood Thinners
People with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem are often prescribed blood thinners to reduce their stroke risk but they can come with challenges and bleeding worry. Taking a blood thinner means daily pills, long-term usage, complications to surgeries and increased bleeding risk which grows over time.
If you need an alternative, talk to your cardiologist about whether WATCHMAN is right for you.
Speak to a WATCHMAN patient
Patient Ambassadors are a community of people that have received the WATCHMAN implant and have volunteered to share their personal experiences with potential patients.
Speak to one of our Education Specialists to learn more
Who WATCHMAN Is For
The WATCHMAN Implant may be right for people who:
- Have atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem (also known as non-valvular AFib)
- Have been recommended for blood thinning medicines by their doctor
- Can take short term blood thinners but need an alternative
People may need an alternative to warfarin for any one of these reasons:
- Have had major bleeding while taking blood thinners
- Have a lifestyle, occupation, or condition that puts them at risk for major bleeding
- Have difficulties taking their blood thinner as prescribed (staying in INR range, following dietary restrictions, missing doses or inability to afford the prescription)
As with any medical procedure, there are risks involved with WATCHMAN. See the Important Safety Information below for a list of possible complications, and ask your cardiologist about the risks and benefits of WATCHMAN.
WATCHMAN is for people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem who need an alternative to blood thinners. 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 and WATCHMAN FLX Devices are permanent implants 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 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 device.
- Holmes DR Jr, Doshi SK, Kar S, et al. Left atrial appendage closure as an alternative to warfarin for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation: a patient-level meta-analysis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(24):2614-2623.
- WatchUsNow.com. The Harris Poll online survey. Boston Scientific. SH-574213-AA. https://www.watchusnow.com/?page=d75be9d4-ba36-456c-a72d-dc3df07892da. Accessed March 28, 2019.
- Price MJ, Reddy VY, Valderrábano M, et al. Bleeding outcomes after left atrial appendage closure compared with long-term warfarin. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2015;8(15):1925-1932.