Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion With Watchman™

For patients taking blood thinners to manage their atrial fibrillation, Sutter Health network interventional cardiologists and electrophysiologists can perform the left atrial appendage occlusion procedure by implanting the Watchman™ device (Opens in new tab) without the need for open-heart surgery. After 45 days, most patients can stop taking blood thinners completely.

Watchman™ Implant Procedure

Through a catheter inserted into the leg or groin, Sutter Health network cardiac specialists are able to implant the Watchman™ device in the heart’s atrial appendage.

Harry’s Story

When Harry’s blood thinners for his atrial fibrillation were causing problems, he turned to Mills-Peninsula Medical Center for the minimally invasive Watchman™ procedure.

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Sutter Health Network Clinical Trials

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Frequently Asked Questions

Using a catheter that goes through a vein, the Watchman™ device is implanted into the left atrial appendage. When expanded, the new device closes off the left atrial appendage, preventing blood from entering. The experience is similar to having a stent inserted. The non-surgical procedure can sometimes be done under light sedation, avoiding general anesthesia. The Watchman™ implant procedure typically requires a small catheter puncture in the upper groin, similar to an IV placement.
Not every person will need cardiac rehabilitation. Discuss your rehab needs with your doctor.
This procedure may be recommended by your doctor if you have atrial fibrillation, are at increased risk of stroke and have a medical reason to seek an alternative to blood thinners. Medical reasons to stop using blood thinners include gastrointestinal bleeding, blood noses and being prone to falls.

By making this recommendation, your doctor has considered the benefits and risks of Watchman™ and believes it to be the one of the best options for your overall health. Although, no procedure is without risks. The risks from these procedures include bleeding, stroke, irregular heart rhythm, need for a pacemaker and, in rare cases, death. However, most people who have these procedures enjoy greater quality of life and life expectancy.
The Sutter Health network’s cardiologists and interventional cardiologists have been involved with non-surgical, catheter-based procedures such as TAVR, TMVR and Watchman™. From the clinical trials to the moment the procedures were offered to the public, the Sutter Health network has been at the forefront of these incredible procedures. And to improve these technologies further, the Sutter Health network’s doctors and researchers are constantly conducting new trials to lead the way for the next generation of non-surgical, catheter-based heart devices.
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