Watchman Procedure

Individuals living with atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) now have access to a cutting-edge, new treatment option at Bayhealth. The innovative Watchman procedure provides an effective and minimally invasive alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners for select patients with A-Fib.

Life with A-Fib, Reimagined

A-Fib causes the heart to beat irregularly, greatly increasing the risk of stroke in individuals who have it. For patients diagnosed with A-Fib, doctors often prescribe long-term blood thinner use — a course of treatment with associated risks around falls, bleeding, and strokes.

By implanting a Watchman device, Bayhealth cardiologists can help prevent strokes among patients with A-Fib. The implant results in limited (or even eliminated) need for blood thinners. Performed without the need to open the chest, the minimally-invasive procedure implants the Watchman device inside the heart and blocks the area most prone to clotting. Speak to a Bayhealth cardiologist about the Watchman program.

What to Expect From the Watchman Procedure

Performed under general anesthesia, the Watchman procedure typically takes an hour. About the size of a quarter, the implant blocks the left atrial appendage (LAA) of the heart, preventing blood from entering the area and forming clots. Traditionally, surgeons have addressed the LAA through open-heart surgery. Instead, the Watchman procedure deploys the device through a narrow tube (called a catheter) inserted via the groin. Patients often go home the next day. Use of blood thinners continues until the LAA fully closes off and a layer of protective heart tissue grows around the implant.

Learn more about the Watchman device and procedure in the video below.


Backed by Decades of Research

The Watchman implant represents nearly 20 years of research and clinical trials. More than 400,000 procedures have been performed worldwide. Patients who receive the implant are typically able to discontinue blood thinners immediately or shortly after the procedure. In a clinical trial, 96% of people were able to stop their blood thinner within 45 days after the WATCHMAN implant. Learn more about surgeries and procedures performed by the Bayhealth heart and vascular team.



Share This With Your Friends