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WATCHMAN™ - Reducing the risk of stroke for people with AFib

Heart Health | December 1, 2021
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Watch a recording of Dr. James Reiss's presentation on this important topic.

Does your heart race or skip beats due to AFib (atrial fibrillation)? It's important to know that this condition can raise your risk of having a stroke.

PeaceHealth cardiac electrophysiologist, James Reiss, MD, shares information about an innovative treatment called the WATCHMAN™ that can reduce stroke risk for those with AFib.

Watch a recording of the session below and download a pdf of the slide presentation.

The session includes:

  • How AFib affects your health
  • The connection between AFib and stroke
  • Management of stroke risk
  • WATCHMAN vs. Blood Thinners
  • How WATCHMAN procedure is performed


James Reiss, MD
James Reiss, MD


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Patients with tissue valve and not mechanical valve can get WATCHMAN device.

As of now the guidelines suggest if there is a high bleeding risk with HasBled score of three then consider WATCHMAN device implantation. However some people declined to take anticoagulation due to cost constraints, professional reasons being one of them. So it is case-by-case basis where we see these patients as consults and recommend if the WATCHMAN device can be implanted.

Yes, the WATCHMAN device can be implanted if you have a pacemaker. We have done several patients who had pacemaker implantation. Both are not related to each other.

The WATCHMAN device is ONE time for a lifetime! It can never be replaced. If the WATCHMAN device cannot fit in the left atrial appendage then we do not leave the device during the actual procedure.

Pulmonary vein isolation and ablation is a separate procedure related to rhythm control and symptoms related to atrial fibrillation. The WATCHMAN device is solely intended to be offered as an alternative to systemic anticoagulation for stroke prevention.

Like any invasive procedure there is always risk involved periprocedure: that involves less than 1% risk of bleeding in the pericardium(heart sac) and less than 0.5% risk of device embolization. Patients have to be followed up with three rounds of transesophageal echocardiogram where they need intubation of the TEE probe to look for left atrial appendage thrombus. But apart from these follow-up visits, including transesophageal echocardiogram exams, and very minimal risk for bleeding overall I do not see much negative for the WATCHMAN device implantation.

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