Watchman left atrial appendage occlusion is a one-time, minimally invasive, catheter based procedure. It is performed in the cardiac cath lab and you will be under general anesthesia.
During the procedure, your electrophysiologist will insert a catheter (thin, flexible tube) into the femoral vein in the groin. It is then threaded up to the heart and over to the left upper chamber. Fluoroscopy (a moving x-ray), contrast dye and transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)(ultrasound) are used to visualize the procedure and measure the left atrial appendage. Your physician will then choose a Watchman size and deploy the device via the catheter. The device is then tested to make sure it fits securely and confirm the positioning.
Procedure time: about 1 hour
Hospital Stay: Overnight for monitoring
Follow-up Care: You will need to take warfarin and aspirin for about 45 days or until the left LAA is sealed (the lining of the heart grows over it). This will be confirmed by a transesophageal echo.