The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small sac in the top left chamber in the heart. If you have atrial fibrillation (afib), an irregular heart beat does not allow blood to pump efficiently out of the heart. Blood can pool in the LAA, leading to high risk of blood clots and ultimately stroke. Normally, afib is managed with anticoagulant medication (warfarin) that poses risks for bleeding. However, the WATCHMAN™ device addresses the problem at the source. The small device implanted in the heart closes the LAA to eliminate blood collecting and forming dangerous clots. The WATCHMAN™ can reduce stoke risk and avoid complications of blood thinning medications (warfarin/Coumadin) .
This procedure offers minimal recovery and a dramatic improvement in quality of life for many patients. Our Heart Team can help you decide on the best treatment option.
For more information or to make an appointment, call (615) 515-1900.
How it works:
- You will be placed under general anesthesia and your doctor will make a small incision.
- Your doctor will insert a small tube (about the size of a pencil) to take photos and determine the shape and size of your LAA.
- The delivery system will place the WATCHMAN™ device in the LAA.
- Your WATCHMAN™ device will immediately expand to close the LAA and eliminate blood clots breaking off.
- Your doctor will make sure that the clip is in place before removing the tube.