Any expierences with Watchman Implant for A-Fib?
I've been living with A-Fib for close to 20 years now. I took warfarin for 14 of those years and then switched to Pradaxa. After being on Pradaxa for 8 months, I started having GI bleeds and over the course of 14 months I had 8 blood transfusions. After ending up with a hemogloblin count of 5 and
an INR of 9, I ended up in ICU. After my release, and lengthy discussions with my cardiologist, we decided that my body could no longer tolerate the
blood thinners. For three years I went without any A-fib treatment and a year ago I started taking a full dose aspirin daily.
Early this summer I saw the TV ads for the Watchman, for people who cannot take blood thinners. It's an jellyfish looking implant that is inserted in the
left atrial appendage of the heart. After implantation, heart tissue will grow over the device and provide blockage of clots that could travel to the brain.
I had the implantation done on September 13th, which requires an overnight stay in the hospital, and will be on Eliquis and an aspirin for about 45 days, then I will just take an aspirin daily for the rest of my life.
From reading the pros and cons of this device, it is my understanding that it does not work any better than blood thinners, but is an option for those who
cannot take the thinners. My first visit with the electrophysiologist is 2 weeks from today and at the end of October, I will undergo another TEE to determine
if all is working well.
I lived the 3 plus years not being on blood thinners with the though of stroke in the back of my mind. Even though I realize that nothing is 100% guaranteed or successful, I do have some relief now that I am again under treatment.
I'm posting this experience and wondering if anyone else has undergone this procedure and may be further along in their journey. It has been only 22 days
since my implant. I'm doing well so far and have not had a problem with the Eliquis so far.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Heart Rhythm Conditions Support Group.
Hello Mary, @tresjur – I love your closing quote, “A setback is simply a setup for a comeback.” How true!
I’v been on Warfarin For several years with no problems. It’s convenient and I live near the hospital for convenient check-ups.
Is there a way to forward any of these remarks. I have a friend who has Afib and I think she would like to read these messages.
How nice that you would like your friend to benefit from these discussions!
You could certainly invite her to join Connect as you did last month. She would not necessarily have to post information about herself if she didn’t want to, however, she could read the posts and benefit by the sharing of experiences.
Welcome to Connect! As Teresa mentioned, your friend could join Connect, where she would be warmly welcomed by an incredibly informative community. We have quite a few active discussions on Afib, which she can also read. If you have any questions with regard to her joining or getting started, please do let us know.
I’m sorry I took so long to post but time has been getting away from me lately. My October 30 TEE went well and I’m on to the next step of this process. I will be on Plavix and a low dose aspirin for the next six months. After that, it will just be a low dose aspirin for life.
How is your approval process going? I hope all is well with you and will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Just wanted you to know I had the Watchman Device implanted this past Monday. Like with you, the stitches were removed the same day and I did stay overnight. I had no problems whatsoever with the procedure. My plan is to stay on Eliquis for 45 days, have a TEE on March 22 to determine if the opening is totally closed, then to get off of Eliquis and be on Plavix and baby aspirin for 6 months. If everything is fine during that period, I will quit taking the Plavix and only take the baby aspirin. Sounds like a pretty good plan. This week (since the Implant on Feb 5th) has been good – no problems at all! I’m hoping this is the start of an improvement stage!!
How are things going with you?
WHAT IS TEE?
Welcome to Connect, @bjme,
TEE stands for transesophageal echo which is a type of echo where a flexible tube containing a transducer is guided down your throat and into your esophagus, which connects your mouth to your stomach. From there, the transducer can be positioned to obtain more-detailed images of your heart. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/echocardiogram/about/pac-20393856
What brings you to Connect, @bjme?
I have AFIB but contrary to what my cardiologist wants I am just taking a full aspirin daily.I don't have symptoms – fast heartbeat – pulse almost always in the 70's unless exercising. I'm widowed living alone and worry everyday of my condition or complications with taking a blood thinner. Also, because I enjoy doing yard work, shoveling snow and just being very independent I do have accidents and have slipped on ice or trip over something and tumble down more than a couple of times. I think I would have to make life changes to be on a blood thinner. I'm in my mid seventies and otherwise healthy – on no Rx just OTC vitamins and of course the aspirin. It is a worry and that is why if there is something i can do to protect myself and not take blood thinners I'm interested.and curious