For appropriate patients, this one-time, minimally invasive procedure is performed to prevent blood clots from forming in the heart and reduce the patient’s lifetime risk of stroke as a reasonable alternative to taking blood thinner medications.
Capital Health’s Electrophysiology team, led by Dr. Scott Burke and experts from Capital Health Cardiology Specialists, performs procedures like Watchman device implants to manage and treat patients with conditions that involve abnormal electrical behavior of the heart.
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heart rhythm that prevents the heart from normally pumping blood. This can lead to blood pooling in a part of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA), where blood can form a clot.
Stroke results if this clot forms, dislodges from the heart and travels to the brain. People living with AFib are often prescribed blood thinners to reduce their risk for stroke. The risk of blood thinners includes bleeding and brain injury if falls occur.
The Watchman implant fits into the LAA and permanently closes it to prevent the risk of clots dislodging from it. The procedure can be completed in as little as 30 minutes under general anesthesia, and most patients are out of the hospital and able to return to their daily routines in a matter of days.
To make an appointment at Capital Health Cardiology Specialists, or to find an office near you, visit capitalhealthcardiology.org.
PHOTO CAP: Dr. Scott Burke, Medical Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Capital Health Heart and Vascular Institute.