Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heartbeat originating in the top two chambers of the heart that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. The top and bottom parts of the heart don't work together as they should, and it beats very fast. As a result, blood is not properly pumped to the bottom of the heart and out to the rest of the body. An estimated 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib, and many are not even aware. It is a very serious condition and recognizing the symptoms could save your life.
The WATCHMAN™ device is now available at Jewish Hospital, which may eliminate long-term use of blood thinners for some patients with AFib. Shaped like a small umbrella, the WATCHMAN device is implanted into the heart's left atrial appendage to prevent potential stroke-causing blood clots that form there from traveling to the brain. This minimally invasive procedure typically lasts less than two hours, and the patient usually will return home the next day.
Following the procedure, doctors will likely prescribe six weeks of warfarin to keep the blood thin, but that is only temporary. Usually within four and a half months, the patient can be taken off all blood thinners - possibly for the rest of his or her life.
If you have AFib and are on blood thinners, you might be a candidate for WATCHMAN. Contact the Jewish Hospital WATCHMAN Team at (844) 287-3938 to speak with someone about your options.