Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device
Choose UNC Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Center to help you reduce your risk of stroke from atrial fibrillation with the Watchman™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) device, an alternative to long-term Warfarin therapy.
How Does the Watchman Device Help?
The Watchman device, a catheter-delivered heart implant, is placed at the opening of the small pouch attached to the left atrium of your heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). The LAA is the source of a majority of stroke-causing blood clots with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
The device works as a plug to close the LAA, which prevents blood clots from escaping into the arteries, blocking blood flow to brain and causing a stroke.
By closing off the LAA, you may reduce your risk of stroke over time, allowing you to stop taking anticoagulants.
Who Benefits from the Watchman Device?
You may benefit from this implant if you live with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and need an alternative to anticoagulation therapy because of your risk for stroke from:
- History of major bleeding while on anticoagulants
- Blood-loss anemia while on anticoagulants
- Intolerance to anticoagulants
- History of falls, or a high risk of falls
- Inability to maintain a stable INR (blood clotting test) or comply with INR monitoring
In the UNC Medical Center’s cardiac catheterization laboratory, your doctor will permanently implant the Watchman device in your LAA under general anesthesia. The LAAC implant procedure will take about an hour. You will stay in the hospital overnight following the procedure.