Heart disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for about one-third of all deaths. As such, doctors and medical engineers have continuously sought new ways to treat heart disease and prevent stroke. One of the most recent technologies that have made significant progress in this regard is the Watchman heart device. In this blog post, we will dive into a comprehensive guide on using watchman heart device, how they work, what they can do, and much more.
What is a Watchman Heart Device?
The Watchman heart device works by sealing off the left atrial appendage (LAA), which is a small pouch in the heart that is linked to an increased risk of blood clots and stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib). The Watchman device reduces the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with AFib who can’t take blood thinners. The device is implanted by a specialist and can replace the need for blood-thinning medication over time.
Uses and Benefits of the Watchman Heart Device
The Watchman heart device is used to prevent stroke in patients who have AFib and cannot take blood thinners. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed under general anesthesia, and recovery time usually lasts between 24-48 hours. The Watchman heart device benefits patients by reducing their risk of stroke and blood clots, as well as reducing their reliance on blood-thinning medication, which can cause side effects.
How Does the Watchman Heart Device Work?
The Watchman heart device works by forming a barrier in the LAA to prevent blood clots from developing and traveling to the brain. It is a small, parachute-shaped device made from nitinol mesh, a material used in cardiovascular stents. The device is inserted into the heart through a catheter via a small incision near the groin. Once the device is in place, over time, heart tissue grows over the device, ultimately forming a barrier in the LAA.
Risks Involved with the Watchman Heart Device
As with all medical procedures, there are several risks involved with the Watchman heart device. Some of these risks include bleeding or excessive bruising at the incision site, blood vessel damage, or air embolism. Rarely, the device may become dislodged from the heart or may be ineffective at blocking blood clots. These issues will usually require additional procedures or surgery to correct. However, with proper monitoring, most patients have a favorable outcome.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for the Watchman Heart Device?
Patients who cannot take blood-thinning medication and have AFib may be ideal candidates for the Watchman heart device. It is also a great option for patients who are at high risk for stroke, cannot tolerate the side effects of oral anticoagulants, or have a history of bleeding. However, the decision to use the Watchman heart device should be based on the individual patient’s medical history and current health status.
The Watchman heart device is a promising technology in the prevention of stroke in AFib patients. Its minimally invasive procedure and reduced reliance on blood-thinning medication have made it a game-changer for many patients. As with any medical procedure, though, there are some risks involved. The ideal candidates for the Watchman heart device are patients who are unable to take blood thinners or have a high risk of stroke. We hope that this comprehensive guide provided you with valuable information and helped answer any questions you might have had about the Watchman heart device. If you think you or a loved one may be a good candidate for this procedure, consult with your cardiologist and specialists to see if it is the best option for you.