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WATCHMAN may be a life-changing alternative to the lifelong use of warfarin. 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

As a permanent implant, WATCHMAN doesn’t come with the same bleeding risks associated with the long-term use of warfarin.2 This makes it an important option for people with a history or risk of serious bleeding on blood thinners. Newer blood thinners (also known as novel oral anticoagulant drugs) offer additional options to warfarin, but they don’t take away the long-term risk of bleeding.1

If You Have Serious Bleeding Concerns

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. Maybe you’ve even experienced a serious bleed and had to go the hospital. 

Hear about two real patients who had serious bleeding events while taking blood thinners. In the following videos, Marjorie and Billy 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.




Marjorie Giovannoni

Coupeville, Washington

Marjorie had a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain) in 2006. It paralyzed the right side of her body. After that, she stopped taking blood thinners for a while due to her risk of bleeding. But in 2015, her doctor recommended she go back on warfarin because her stroke risk was high. Afraid of another bleeding event, Marjorie discussed her options with her doctor. See her story.
(Video length: 2:41)


Billy Stacy

Starkville, Mississippi

Of all the medicines Billy was on, blood thinners were the most concerning for him and his wife, Pat. Billy was having internal bleeding problems on blood thinners. After he became anemic and needed three units of blood transfused, he and his doctor made the decision to go with WATCHMAN. He and Pat believe life is good—and now even better without blood thinners. See his story.
(Video length: 2:31)

If You're Out of Range on Warfarin

WATCHMAN isn’t only for people with serious bleeding concerns. People with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem are often prescribed warfarin, a common blood thinner, to reduce their stroke risk. 

If you’re taking warfarin (also known as Coumadin®), you know about the regular blood tests and food-and-drink restrictions that come with it. Some people aren’t able to get regular blood tests, or they have trouble staying within the recommend blood clotting range that the test measures. Missing your medication frequently or failing to follow dietary guidelines on warfarin can put you out of range.3 

If this describes you, and you can’t take a different type of blood thinner (for example, because of cost or availability), then talk to your cardiologist about whether WATCHMAN is right for you.

Could WATCHMAN be right for you?

Answer a few short questions to see if you may be a candidate and get a customized guide to help you start a conversation with your doctor

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The WATCHMAN Implant may be right for people who meet the following criteria:

  • They have atrial fi­brillation not caused by a heart valve problem (also known as non-valvular AFib)
  • They have been recommended for blood thinning medicines by their doctor
  • They can take warfarin but need an alternative

People may need an alternative to warfarin for any one of these reasons:

  • They have a history of major (serious) bleeding while taking blood thinners
  • They have a lifestyle, occupation, or condition that puts them at risk for major bleeding
  • They take warfarin and have trouble staying within the recommended blood clotting range (a measurement known as INR*) or getting regular blood tests to confirm their INR, and they cannot take a different type of blood thinner

*INR, or International Normalized Ratio, is a measurement of how long it takes for your blood to clot. If you’re out of range, you may be at higher risk for stroke or at higher risk for bleeding.3

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.

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People who should not receive the WATCHMAN Implant include but are not limited to those who:

  • Cannot take warfarin (Coumadin®), aspirin, or clopidogrel (Plavix®)
  • Should not or cannot undergo heart catheterization procedures
  • Have an allergy or sensitivity to nitinol (nickel and titanium) or any of the other materials in the WATCHMAN Implant
  • Have a left atrial appendage that is too large or too small to fi­t the WATCHMAN Implant
  • Need to take blood thinners for reasons other than AFib stroke risk reduction

Ask your cardiologist if any of these conditions apply to you.

Due to the risk of having a medical procedure, patients should also not be considered for WATCHMAN if they are doing well and expect to continue doing well on blood thinners.

Get WATCHMAN Updates

Are you looking for an alternative to warfarin or other blood thinning medications? Keep up with the latest on this permanent implant. 

If you’re ready to talk to your doctor about WATCHMAN, get a customized guide that can help you ask the right questions.


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. 


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely. Published September 2015. Accessed September 8, 2016.
  4. 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.