WPG Health Update: Lower Your Risk of Stroke and Say Goodbye to Your Meds
A new FDA approved option for people to help you get off blood thinners is finally here. If you are on blood thinning medicine for atrial fibrillation or a-fib, you have a greater risk for blood clots and strokes. This implant, called Watchman, helps you reduce that risk and hopefully gets you off your medication.
A-fib, or irregular heartbeat, is a common condition that is linked to an increase in blood clots and stroke. Almost all clots are formed in a little pouch on the left atrial of the heart. The Watchman is a device that sits inside that little pouch and closes it off so there is less chance for a clot to form.
This procedure, just approved by the FDA this spring, typically takes less than an hour and is less invasive than previous procedures. Doctors use a catheter through a vein in your groin, which leads to your heart to insert the Watchman, With a lower risk of blood clots and stroke, many patients are able to go off their blood thinning medications, eliminating the side effects that go with them.
Check out the animated graphic of the procedure, as Dr. Vincent Varghese of Deborah Heart and Lung Center explains the Watchman to Robin Stoloff.