Baptist Health Floyd: WATCHMAN FLX for Atrial Fibrillation
The Watchman FLX is an alternative to blood thinners for patients with atrial fibrillation. Learn more about the Watchman FLX device from Baptist Health.
WATCHMAN FLX for Atrial Fibrillation HealthTalks Transcript
Satya Garimella, MD, Cardiology:
When patients have atrial fibrillation, the heart is beating very fast and erratically, and that makes the blood pool around the upper chambers and form tiny clots. These tiny clots can escape and cause strokes. To prevent stroke, we use blood thinners, [but] you can have problems taking blood thinners for the long term.
The WATCHMAN™ device plugs the left atrial appendage or the outpouching in the left upper chamber. Most of the clots, which are formed during atrial fibrillation, will not happen once the device is implanted since the device signals the appendage.
The WATCHMAN FLX™ is an improved version of a WATCHMAN™ device that was approved in 2015. The success rate was between 90% and 95%. When the newer generation of WATCHMAN FLX™ came [out], it was much easier to maneuver. It has more options for sizing, and the complication data is significantly reduced. Also, the success rate has significantly improved, almost to 98% to 99%.
For most of the patients who get the device placed, we stop the blood thinner. They’re very, very happy because they don’t need to take a medication all their life, and the risk of having a major stroke is the same as taking a long-term blood thinner. The patients are elated.
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