Upstate now offers Watchman implant to reduce stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation
Upstate began offering this procedure in this month and has implanted five Watchman devices. The procedure to implant the device typically takes about one hour, is performed under general anesthesia and requires the patient to spend a full day in the hospital.
Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to pool in the left atrial appendage (LAA). This pooling of blood can allow clots to form. For patients with non-valvular AFib, the LAA is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots. If a clot forms in the LAA, it can increase one’s risk of having a stroke. Blood clots can break loose and travel in the blood stream to the brain, lungs, and other parts of the body.
The Watchman implant is designed to close off the LAA, keeping harmful blood clots from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking anti-coagulant medication.