Heart diseases are life-threatening conditions that not only affect adults but also children around the world. It is estimated that one out of every four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. However, thanks to modern technology, heart diseases can be diagnosed early and treated before they become fatal. One such device that has revolutionized the treatment of heart diseases is the watchman procedure. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about using Watchman heart devices.
What is a Watchman heart device?
A Watchman heart device is a small implant that is used to close off the left atrial appendage, which is a small, finger-like pouch in the heart. This pouch is known to be the site of blood clots that can lead to stroke. The Watchman device is a one-time implant that is inserted through a small incision in the leg and guided to the heart.
How does it work?
Once the Watchman device is implanted, it seals off the left atrial appendage, preventing blood clots from forming and causing strokes. This device essentially reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who are unable to take blood-thinning medication.
Who can use a Watchman heart device?
Watchman heart devices are typically used for patients with atrial fibrillation who are at high risk of stroke but cannot take blood-thinning medication due to their condition. Not everyone can use a Watchman device, as the device is only suitable for certain types of patients. Your cardiologist will determine whether a Watchman device is a good option for you.
What can you expect during and after the procedure?
The Watchman implant procedure typically takes around one hour and is performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the implant is inserted into your heart via a small incision in your leg, and X-rays are used to guide the device to the correct location. Most patients are able to go home the day after the procedure and can return to normal activities within a few days. After the procedure, you will need to take medication to prevent blood clots from forming around the area where the implant was inserted.
Are there any risks or side effects?
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with the Watchman heart device implantation. The most common risks include bleeding, infection, and blood clots. However, the procedure itself is considered low-risk, with a mortality rate of less than one percent. After the procedure, some patients may experience bruising or tenderness around the site of the incision, but this is generally mild and resolves quickly.
In conclusion, Watchman heart devices are a game-changer in the treatment of heart diseases. The implantation process is relatively simple and safe, and patients can expect to see a significant reduction in their risk of stroke after receiving the device. If you are dealing with atrial fibrillation and are at high risk of stroke, ask your cardiologist whether a Watchman device is a good option for you. By choosing to use a Watchman heart device, you can take control of your heart health and ensure a brighter, healthier future.