The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano is among the first hospitals in Dallas-Fort Worth to offer patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternative to long-term warfarin medication with the newly approved WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant.
February 16, 2017 - For patients with AF who are considered suitable for warfarin by their physicians but who have reason to seek a non-drug alternative, the WATCHMAN LAAC Implant is an implant alternative to reduce their risk of AF-related stroke. The WATCHMAN Implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots from the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.
People with atrial fibrillation have a five times greater risk of stroke.¹ Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to pool and form clots in the LAA. For patients with non-valvular AF, the LAA is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots.² If a clot forms in the LAA, it can increase one's risk of having a stroke. Blood clots can break loose and travel in the blood stream to the brain, lungs, and other parts of the body.
"The development of a left atrial appendage closure program, in concert with the opening of the Arrhythmia Center, is an example of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano's commitment to provide comprehensive care for cardiac and vascular disease," said Brian DeVille, MD, BHCS Co-Medical Director - Electrophysiology.
Implanting the WATCHMAN Device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.
For more information on the WATCHMAN Implant, please visit: watchman.com.
1. Holmes, DR, Seminars in Neurology 2010; 30:528-536
2. Blackshear J. and Odell J., Annals of Thoracic Surgery 1996; 61:755-759
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano or Baylor Health Care System.