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.

@jfperrone

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

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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.

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@jfperrone

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

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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.

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

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@hopalongnm3

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

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When my cardi first mentioned Watchman, I got on the internet and searched for all the information I could find. I am a person that wants to know everything I can learn about a procedure or medical condition I might have. There is a lot of info out there about the watchman…..all of it is basely the same. The official Watchman website has a lot written but does not really give that good of information. At least not what I was looking for. The official Watchman website is there for one thing only…..sell their product. I have read many write-ups from hospitals, clinics, etc about what the Watchman does and how it is supposed to work and very little about how it is put in a heart. I found ONE site that did say," if a watchman is installed, to remove it for any reason will require open heart surgery". Hmmmm…I don't recall reading that on the official Watchman website.
My first thought was "so, this thing only stops blood clots coming from LAA…I can still get a stroke from clots from other places Why bother getting the watchman." Then my cardi reminded me of how many AFIBs I was having. She said "every AFIB episode has the potential of causing a blood clot and stroke. My son and my neighbor had strokes and I saw first hand what it did to them. I do not want a stroke. If the watchman can stop just one stroke, it pays for itself. Some people will ask, how do you know if the device actually stopped a blood clot….plain simple answer is…you don't know.
Know and understand, really understand,.. the risks and possible benefits of having a Watchman procedure. There are risks with everything you do…I trust my cardi, my cardi trusts the surgeon so I will trust the surgeon knows what he is doing He has done hundreds of watchman installations. Some, like my first attempt, fail. This is not due to the surgeon, it is due to the size and location of the LAA or some other reason the surgeon feels he can not safely complete the install.

As for me, it was MY decision to get the Watchman. I decided based on all the information I could find on my own and what my cardi gave me. My cardi did NOT push me into going ahead with the procedure. She gave me the best advice she could based on my health and heart conditions. I trust my cardi and her words carried most of the weight. So, talk to your cardi. If the watchman is not right for you, your cardi should say so. If in doubt get a second opinion from an independent cardi from a hospital/clinic not related to the one your cardi is in. \

If the next attempt of installing a watchman fails, I will do the ablation route. Ablation sure was not my first choice based on my research. Again, getting this procedure should be YOUR decision. Talk to your family and friends, listen to your cardi team and do your research.

I hope this will help quell some questions and fears about the watchman.

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@phoenix1647

When my cardi first mentioned Watchman, I got on the internet and searched for all the information I could find. I am a person that wants to know everything I can learn about a procedure or medical condition I might have. There is a lot of info out there about the watchman…..all of it is basely the same. The official Watchman website has a lot written but does not really give that good of information. At least not what I was looking for. The official Watchman website is there for one thing only…..sell their product. I have read many write-ups from hospitals, clinics, etc about what the Watchman does and how it is supposed to work and very little about how it is put in a heart. I found ONE site that did say," if a watchman is installed, to remove it for any reason will require open heart surgery". Hmmmm…I don't recall reading that on the official Watchman website.
My first thought was "so, this thing only stops blood clots coming from LAA…I can still get a stroke from clots from other places Why bother getting the watchman." Then my cardi reminded me of how many AFIBs I was having. She said "every AFIB episode has the potential of causing a blood clot and stroke. My son and my neighbor had strokes and I saw first hand what it did to them. I do not want a stroke. If the watchman can stop just one stroke, it pays for itself. Some people will ask, how do you know if the device actually stopped a blood clot….plain simple answer is…you don't know.
Know and understand, really understand,.. the risks and possible benefits of having a Watchman procedure. There are risks with everything you do…I trust my cardi, my cardi trusts the surgeon so I will trust the surgeon knows what he is doing He has done hundreds of watchman installations. Some, like my first attempt, fail. This is not due to the surgeon, it is due to the size and location of the LAA or some other reason the surgeon feels he can not safely complete the install.

As for me, it was MY decision to get the Watchman. I decided based on all the information I could find on my own and what my cardi gave me. My cardi did NOT push me into going ahead with the procedure. She gave me the best advice she could based on my health and heart conditions. I trust my cardi and her words carried most of the weight. So, talk to your cardi. If the watchman is not right for you, your cardi should say so. If in doubt get a second opinion from an independent cardi from a hospital/clinic not related to the one your cardi is in. \

If the next attempt of installing a watchman fails, I will do the ablation route. Ablation sure was not my first choice based on my research. Again, getting this procedure should be YOUR decision. Talk to your family and friends, listen to your cardi team and do your research.

I hope this will help quell some questions and fears about the watchman.

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Very refreshing to see someone like you doing your homework…..thank you for the information…..I have been trying to find out what is the purpose and what is the function of the LAA…. now that is an interesting path to travel….hope all is well with you and 2021 is a much better year.

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@starfirey2k

Very refreshing to see someone like you doing your homework…..thank you for the information…..I have been trying to find out what is the purpose and what is the function of the LAA…. now that is an interesting path to travel….hope all is well with you and 2021 is a much better year.

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From my research, the LAA serves no useful purpose. Why is it there? I have no clue. I often wondered why they can't just sew it closed but have never seen anything on that subject. I am thinking duct tape won't work here….

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@phoenix1647

From my research, the LAA serves no useful purpose. Why is it there? I have no clue. I often wondered why they can't just sew it closed but have never seen anything on that subject. I am thinking duct tape won't work here….

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from all my reading I understand they can just sew it closed. there is also another device that will just clip it closed and just recently I was reading about a new process called "the lariat" which is just inserting a loop around the LAA and simply closing it off tight….interesting……there was some discussion years ago that the LAA actually has some influence on body temp…hmmmm….

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@phoenix1647

From my research, the LAA serves no useful purpose. Why is it there? I have no clue. I often wondered why they can't just sew it closed but have never seen anything on that subject. I am thinking duct tape won't work here….

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What is an atrial clip?
The Procedure

The AtriClip, which is applied to the outside surface of the left atrial appendage, permanently closes the left atrial appendage at its base, preventing blood from entering the pouch. This procedure is performed by a cardiac surgeon using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

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@phoenix1647

From my research, the LAA serves no useful purpose. Why is it there? I have no clue. I often wondered why they can't just sew it closed but have never seen anything on that subject. I am thinking duct tape won't work here….

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LARIAT Device
The Procedure
The second catheter-based procedure uses a device called LARIAT to place a loop stitch around the base of the left atrial appendage, permanently sealing it off from the rest of the heart and blocking stroke-causing blood clots from entering the brain. Johns Hopkins is currently the only center in the mid-Atlantic region offering LARIAT as an option. Patients who have had prior cardiac surgery are not candidates for this procedure. A CT scan will need to be performed to make certain that the left atrial appendage is not too large or has an unusual location that precludes placement of this device.

What are the risks?
The use of the suture delivery device does not require the use of immediate use of blood thinners. As with any invasive procedure, there are risks to placement of this type of device. Your doctor can go over these risks in detail.

What happens after the procedure?
You will have a follow-up appointment 45 days after the procedure.

Once the left atrial appendage is blocked, you will be followed on a routine basis by your referring physician.

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@phoenix1647

From my research, the LAA serves no useful purpose. Why is it there? I have no clue. I often wondered why they can't just sew it closed but have never seen anything on that subject. I am thinking duct tape won't work here….

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@hopalongnm3

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

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Hi @hopalongnm3, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. I see that @phoenix1647 responded to you as well. May I ask, @hopalongnm3, d you have the watchman device as well?
Would you be willing to share your experience with the group?

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