WATCHMAN at Community Memorial Hospital

A One-Time Implant that Helps Reduce AFib Stroke Risk

If you have a history of bleeding or a lifestyle, occupation or condition that puts you at risk for bleeding, WATCHMAN may be right for you.

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Patient Stories

Meet Your WATCHMAN Team

Ishu
Rao, M.D.

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Jonathan
Dukes, M.D.

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How Does AFib Increase Stroke Risk?

Cross-section of the heart showing internals

The average person with atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF) is five times more likely to have a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat.1 That’s because AFib can decrease the heart’s pumping capacity by as much as 30%.2 Because blood isn’t pumped out of the heart normally, it’s easier for blood cells to stick together and form clots in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA).2, 3 When a blood clot escapes from the LAA and travels to another part of the body, it can cut off the blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke.1, 4

In people with atrial fibrillation not caused by heart valve problems (the most common type of AFib), more than 90% of stroke-causing clots that come from the heart are formed in the LAA.3

Reducing AFib Stroke Risk

Blood thinners, also called anticoagulants, are an effective way to lower the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by heart valve problems.5 Common blood thinners include warfarin (also known as Coumadin®), Eliquis®, Pradaxa®, Xarelto® and Savaysa®.

But some people need an alternative to blood thinners, because they can increase the risk of bleeding.5 Some bleeding events are minor and easily treated, like a cut taking longer than normal to stop bleeding. In other cases, the bleeding can be life-threatening, such as when bleeding in the brain causes a stroke.

If you have a history of bleeding or a lifestyle, occupation or condition that puts you at risk for bleeding, your doctor may consider an alternative to blood thinners, such as the WATCHMAN Implant.

An Alternative to Blood Thinners

A WATCHMAN implant

WATCHMAN is a permanent implant that offers an alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners. It’s about the size of a quarter and made from very light and compact materials commonly used in many other medical implants.

The WATCHMAN implant is about the size of a quarter and made from very light and compact materials commonly used in many other medical implants.

How WATCHMAN Works

WATCHMAN effectively reduces the risk of stroke by permanently closing off the LAA to keep blood clots from escaping. WATCHMAN can eliminate the bleeding risks and regular blood tests and food-and-drink restrictions that come with warfarin. In a clinical trial, 9 out of 10 people were able to stop taking warfarin just 45 days after the WATCHMAN procedure.6

WATCHMAN is implanted into your heart in a one-time procedure. To implant WATCHMAN, your doctor makes a small cut in your upper leg and inserts a narrow tube, as done in a standard stent procedure. Your doctor then guides WATCHMAN into your heart’s LAA. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Patients commonly stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day.

The WATCHMAN at Community Memorial Hospital Play video

WATCHMAN Patient Stories

Joanne’s Story

Meet Joanne Willett, a 77-year-old ranch owner from Santa Paula, California, whose active, independent lifestyle was compromised by heart problems due to non-valvular atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). Like most other patients with this condition, Joanne was at a high-risk for stroke, and was placed on the standard treatment protocol of warfarin blood thinner therapy to prevent blood clots from forming in her left atrial appendage. Watch the video to hear the rest of Joanne's story!

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Marjorie’s Story

Marjorie had a hemorrhagic stroke while taking blood thinners and needed an alternative treatment to reduce her AFib stroke risk. See how WATCHMAN gave her new hope.

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Billy Stacy’s Story

When Billy became anemic and needed three units of blood transfused, it was time to explore an alternative to blood thinners for reducing his AFib stroke risk. See how the WATCHMAN Implant helped this former pro football player stay active in his community.

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Fermin’s Story

Spanish

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Getting WATCHMAN

WATCHMAN Team

The first step to finding out if you’re a candidate for WATCHMAN is making an appointment with a cardiologist to discuss your options.

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