Heart and Vascular Health

Non-valvular Afib Heart Device

Ascension Michigan heart doctors specialize in stroke risk reduction due to non-valvular atrial fibrillation (Afib) using the WATCHMAN device.

Living with an abnormal heart rhythm that is too fast, slow or irregular does not have to be your reality. When the left atrial appendage (LAA) is damaged, blood can pool in this area of the heart. If a clot forms and travels to the brain, a stroke can occur. For many patients, blood thinner medication (such as warfarin) can manage this condition, but also must be taken for life. We also treat heart patients who have AFib not caused by a heart valve condition, but need a non-drug alternative because they have problems with:

  • Staying within the recommended blood clotting range
  • Remembering to regularly take your AFib medicine
  • Keeping regular blood test appointments
  • Sticking to dietary restrictions, such as avoiding alcohol
  • Handling side effects from the medication

For more information about Ascension Michigan AFib services, contact Ascension in Michigan 866-501-3627.

Treating Non-Valvular AFib with the WATCHMAN Device

Ascension cardiologists and electrophysiologists in Michigan specialize in stroke risk reduction in patients with atrial fibrillation.

If you have non-valvular AFib and cannot tolerate blood thinners, a quarter-size device called the WATCHMAN may be an alternative treatment. This device is the only FDA approved device for LAAC and has more than 10 years of clinical studies, based on 20,000 procedures performed worldwide. 

If you have non-valvular AFib and cannot tolerate blood thinners, a quarter-size device, called the WATCHMAN, may be an alternative treatment. It is implanted in the heart using a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure through a blood vessel in the groin and lasts one to two hours. The WATCHMAN keeps potentially lethal blood clots from escaping the heart’s left atrial appendage. It acts as a barrier to prevent LAA blood clots from entering the bloodstream and causing a stroke.  The device is manufactured in a way that promotes the patient’s own heart tissue to grow over it in time.

Other heart conditions also increase the risk of stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels to the brain.

The WATCHMAN device helps manage LAA clotting in the heart, not high blood pressure, carotid artery disease, or atrial fibrillation. 

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