AnMed Health is the first hospital in the region to offer an implant called WATCHMAN that makes it possible for some long-term warfarin patients to stop taking the medication. Patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF), and who struggle with warfarin, are candidates for the device. Dr. Rick Henderson of AnMed Health Arrhythmia Specialists is the only physician in the region to offer the WATCHMAN implant.
For patients with AF, sometimes called A-Fib, the device can help reduce the risk of AF-related stroke. The WATCHMAN implant closes off an area of the heart where harmful blood clots can form in AF patients. When the device in implanted, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.
About half of potential warfarin patients are not being treated with the drug because of side effects or because they do not take the medication as prescribed. Implanting WATCHMAN is a one-time procedure. Ask your doctor for more information.