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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)
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)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Blood Thinner Pills: Your Guide to Using Them Safely. http://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/patients-consumers/diagnosis-treatment/treatments/btpills/btpills.pdf. Published September 2015. Accessed September 8, 2016.
- 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.