Watchman device

Posted by phoenix1647 @phoenix1647, Jan 1 6:44am

I was to have a watchman device implanted on Dec 22.2020. The procedure was a failure in that out of 3 devices, none would seal off the opening. Very disappointed in this. Surgeon said the rep from the makers told him they are coming out with newer devices that will be more flexable sometime in Feb, Mar, Apr timeframe. I am on the list to get one of those. The procedure itself was full of surprises for me. Please make sure you know what is going to happen in your procedure.

Liked by lucky1038, ess77

Sorry to hear that, I am doing some research now to see if this is something that i would want to have done,,,,if you would please explain what surprised you about the whole process??? your input could help others decide on this procedure….thanks for your time and help on this

REPLY

I had a heart cath in 2004. This one was way different. During the watchman procedure, you will also get a TEE at the start. On my pre-procedure TEE, done weeks before, it was simple and easy. So, I was expecting basicly the same TEE procedure and the same heart cath like before. Not so. For the actual watchman implant procedure it went like this: First. you are prepped for the procedure room. This consists of an IV line put in, a 12 lead monitor hooked up then you get the entire pubic area shaved. I was expecting to be shaved only on one side. Next, you are taken to the procedure room. I was expecting maybe 4 people in there. Turns out there were I think 8 people. The nurses will start slapping a lot of very cold tabs on your chest, in addition the the 12 you got in the prep room. Your arms and feet will be tied down so you can't move. I did not expect that. I have issues having my limbs immobile. Then they will remove your gown and you will be completed naked. I have very strong modesty issues and that upset me a bit. Then you will start getting ananstesia. and you will go out. Once you are out they will do the TEE and watchman procedure. You will wake up on the recovery room. I had severe shakes from being so cold. Took a while for me to warm up. You will have to lay flat on your back for at least 3 hours. Then you get moved to the ward. The nurses should come around at least once an hour to check your incision. For me and I speak only for me, the anastesia had the side effect of causing multiple erections. This for me was very embarrassing when the nurses had to see that area. I also had urine retention which I was not prepared for. They did not put in a urine cath for the procedure. My research shows a urine cath is not usually used in a surgery lasting less than 3 hours. When you are in the recovery room they may give you a dry sandwich to eat. Your throat will be raw and sore from the TEE and getting dry bread down will be difficult. I could not eat mine. Your option.
I think if I had known more about the actual procedure and the anastesia side effects I would have been better prepared mentally. I could not find very much useful information about the watchman procedure online. What little is there is not well written and leaves a lot out.
After surgery you will be told to not lift anything over 10 pounds for at least a week. Since my procedure failed, I was not put on blood thinners at all. If yours is successful, you will be on blood thinners for a while.

Hope this helps

REPLY
@starfirey2k

Sorry to hear that, I am doing some research now to see if this is something that i would want to have done,,,,if you would please explain what surprised you about the whole process??? your input could help others decide on this procedure….thanks for your time and help on this

Jump to this post

It took me almost 3 years before I decided to do the watchman. I have friends that did the ablation and they were not happy with the results. My cardiologist recommended the watchman due to the high number of AFIB episodes I was having. I did all the research online about the watchman I could do. There really is not a lot of great info out there. Once I decided, I went for it. Now I will have to wait until they come out with the new devices.

REPLY

@phoenix1647, I'm sorry to hear that getting the Watchman device was such a negative experience for you. It's sounds like, aside from not being able to seal the left atrial appendage (LAA), be unprepared for what to expect was equally upsetting. Had the procedure been properly described, much of the unnecessary suffering could have been avoided I suspect. I'm grateful that you shared your experience to help others be better prepared to ask questions about what to expect.

Here's a video with Mayo cardiovascular surgeons talking about the:
– Pros and Cons of LAA Occlusion Devices vs Anticoagulation https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930190

So now your main concern I assumed to get the LAA successfully sealed. @1943 @ronva2co and @kidsincollege have had the Watchman device inserted and may have some thoughts to share.

Phoenix, will you talk to your cardiologist about the discomfort your experienced with the procedure and discuss ways to improve the next procedure?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

@phoenix1647, I'm sorry to hear that getting the Watchman device was such a negative experience for you. It's sounds like, aside from not being able to seal the left atrial appendage (LAA), be unprepared for what to expect was equally upsetting. Had the procedure been properly described, much of the unnecessary suffering could have been avoided I suspect. I'm grateful that you shared your experience to help others be better prepared to ask questions about what to expect.

Here's a video with Mayo cardiovascular surgeons talking about the:
– Pros and Cons of LAA Occlusion Devices vs Anticoagulation https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930190

So now your main concern I assumed to get the LAA successfully sealed. @1943 @ronva2co and @kidsincollege have had the Watchman device inserted and may have some thoughts to share.

Phoenix, will you talk to your cardiologist about the discomfort your experienced with the procedure and discuss ways to improve the next procedure?

Jump to this post

I have a 5 page letter all ready for my follow-up at the end of the month.There is more to the letter than what I posted dealing with not getting anything to eat. That was due to the hospital and not the procedure itself. The hospital ward was full and all the nurses were rushed. Not making an excuse for them, just saying. The lack of good care was not expected. Not gripping here. I will visit the links you provided….thanks for your reply.
ADDED: To be honest here, all the people in the procedure room were professional, very kind, and I can only hope I get the same crew with my next shot at the watchman. Both doctors were wonderful. Just some minor hiccups is all.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

@phoenix1647, I'm sorry to hear that getting the Watchman device was such a negative experience for you. It's sounds like, aside from not being able to seal the left atrial appendage (LAA), be unprepared for what to expect was equally upsetting. Had the procedure been properly described, much of the unnecessary suffering could have been avoided I suspect. I'm grateful that you shared your experience to help others be better prepared to ask questions about what to expect.

Here's a video with Mayo cardiovascular surgeons talking about the:
– Pros and Cons of LAA Occlusion Devices vs Anticoagulation https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930190

So now your main concern I assumed to get the LAA successfully sealed. @1943 @ronva2co and @kidsincollege have had the Watchman device inserted and may have some thoughts to share.

Phoenix, will you talk to your cardiologist about the discomfort your experienced with the procedure and discuss ways to improve the next procedure?

Jump to this post

All of the input here is very good to help as well with my decision to pursue the watchman device, thank you all.

REPLY

Starfirey2k…May I suggest that whoever goes with you for the procedure, bring a couple small jello packs. Maybe some sort of snacks for when you get in your room. What I wanted most when I woke up was something cold to drink. The sandwich was just too dry for me to get down and something like jello would have helped. I wish you well in getting your device.

REPLY
@phoenix1647

It took me almost 3 years before I decided to do the watchman. I have friends that did the ablation and they were not happy with the results. My cardiologist recommended the watchman due to the high number of AFIB episodes I was having. I did all the research online about the watchman I could do. There really is not a lot of great info out there. Once I decided, I went for it. Now I will have to wait until they come out with the new devices.

Jump to this post

Have you been on blood thinners while you were deciding to have the watchman procedure, as a result of having afib?

Liked by lucky1038

REPLY
@phoenix1647

Starfirey2k…May I suggest that whoever goes with you for the procedure, bring a couple small jello packs. Maybe some sort of snacks for when you get in your room. What I wanted most when I woke up was something cold to drink. The sandwich was just too dry for me to get down and something like jello would have helped. I wish you well in getting your device.

Jump to this post

all good advice, thanks

Liked by lucky1038

REPLY
@starfirey2k

Have you been on blood thinners while you were deciding to have the watchman procedure, as a result of having afib?

Jump to this post

I was on thinners a few years ago but have developed internal bleeding so had to stop.Had a big bleed back in 2017 and needed 2 units of blood. They still can't find the source of my bleeding although it has not been a problem for a while now. Being on blood thinners was a big issue with my GI team. It took a lot to get them on board for the watchman.

Liked by lucky1038

REPLY
@starfirey2k

Have you been on blood thinners while you were deciding to have the watchman procedure, as a result of having afib?

Jump to this post

Did you get your assessment done for the watchman? Answer a few questions and they assign points to your answers to see if you are eligible for the watchman. Your cardi does that.

REPLY

I have a friend who had a watchman installed. He had a second stroke anyway. I guess there are no guarantees.

REPLY
@jfperrone

I have a friend who had a watchman installed. He had a second stroke anyway. I guess there are no guarantees.

Jump to this post

First, let us remember, we are discussing the "watchman" device. the watchman device DOES NOT protect your entire body from blood clots. it is only designed to prevent the blood clots caused by afib in the LAA, to not form in that pocket. that is the only purpose of the "watchman" for some reason every discussion I have seen about the watchman seems to assume that the watchman will protect you against all blood clots in your body. just to be clear, it does not. so, yes even if you have a watchman you can still get blood clots….Wishing everyone here a happy new year, and hopefully a better year.

Liked by phoenix1647

REPLY
@jfperrone

I have a friend who had a watchman installed. He had a second stroke anyway. I guess there are no guarantees.

Jump to this post

The watchman prevents blood clots from forming in the heart. Blood clots can be formed in any part of the body. So your friends blood clot could have come from the leg or a wound of some sort not related to the heart. Sorry your friend had a stroke, I know those can be bad.

REPLY

Thank you. We often go blindly trusting to a new doctor.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.