The WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Device is an alternative to long-term warfarin therapy for stroke risk reduction in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).
The WATCHMAN Device is intended for percutaneous, transcatheter closure of the left atrial appendage (LAA). Patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are at increased risk for stroke and systemic embolism, are suitable for warfarin and seek a non-pharmacologic alternative to warfarin may be eligible for a WATCHMAN Device.
By closing off the LAA, a thin, sack-like appendix arising from the left side of the heart that is believed to be the source of a majority of stroke-causing blood clots in people with non-valvular AF1, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.
Implanting the WATCHMAN Device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour and is typically conducted with general anesthesia. The WATCHMAN Device is implanted through a femoral access via a trans-septal approach by using a catheter-based delivery system. The device is designed to permanently close off the LAA, believed to be the source of a majority of strokecausing blood clots, and thereby avoid the migration of emboli to the brain. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.