If you have recently been diagnosed with AFib, you may be wondering what your options are. For many, the first step is to try medications, such as beta blockers, to see if they’re effective. Unfortunately, not all patients respond to beta blockers and other medications, so more invasive forms of treatment may need to be explored.

One potential treatment to consider is known as the Watchman Procedure. This treatment can help to prevent blood clots caused by AFib from traveling to other parts of the body, such as the brain, reducing your risk of stroke.

How the Watchman Procedure Works

The Watchman Procedure involves the insertion of an implant that fits directly into your left atrial appendage. This implant then closes off the appendage, preventing blood clots from escaping. Considering 90% or more of stroke-causing clots come from this appendage, this can be a very effective means at preventing them.

Advantages of the Watchman Procedure

There are many benefits to the Watchman Procedure when your have AFib. The implant itself is lightweight and only about the size of a quarter, so the procedure is minimally invasive.

In fact, all that is needed to insert the implant is a small incision in the leg. The entire process takes just about an hour, and most patients are able to return home the next day. Most patients return to their regular level of activity within just a few days, making the recovery time minimal.

After testing is conducted during a follow-up appointment, there is a good chance patients who have had the Watchman Procedure done will be able to stop taking their anticoagulant medications. Side effects that may have been present with these medications can be stopped.

The Watchman Procedure is a very beneficial treatment to consider for those who have been diagnosed with AFib and want to reduce their risk of stroke. If you or a loved one are living with a heart rhythm disorder such as atrial fibrillation, contact Heart Rhythm Consultants. Dr. Dilip Mathew is board certified in Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology and has been serving patients in Sarasota and surrounding cities including Port Charlotte, Venice, Tampa and Sun City Center for over a decade.