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Watchman Device

A leading-edge treatment now available to Yuba-Sutter residents


Having atrial fibrillation (Afib) can mean a constant worry about stroke but taking blood thinners doesn’t always add to peace of mind. The Adventist Heart & Vascular Institute proudly offers the WATCHMAN left atrial appendage closure implant to give those with Afib an option that permanently reduces both stroke risk and bleeding worry. Adventist Health and Rideout is one of only a handful of medical centers in the Sacramento region to offer this cutting-edge treatment.

How does AFib increase stroke risk?

The average person with atrial fibrillation is five times more likely to have a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat. That’s because AFib can decrease the heart’s pumping capacity by as much as 30%. Because blood isn’t pumped out of the heart normally, it’s easier for blood cells to stick together and form clots in an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). When a blood clot escapes from the LAA and travels to another part of the body, it can cut off the blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke.

In people with atrial fibrillation not caused by heart valve problems (the most common type of AFib), more than 90% of stroke-causing clots that come from the heart are formed in the LAA.

Reducing AFib stroke risk

Blood thinners, also called anticoagulants, are an effective way to lower the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by heart valve problems. Common blood thinners include warfarin (also known as Coumadin®), Eliquis®, Pradaxa®, Xarelto® and Savaysa®.

But some people need an alternative to blood thinners, because they can increase the risk of bleeding. Some bleeding events are minor and easily treated, like a cut taking longer than normal to stop bleeding. In other cases, the bleeding can be life-threatening, such as when bleeding in the brain causes a stroke.

An alternative to blood thinners

WATCHMAN is a one-time, minimally invasive procedure for people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem (also known as non-valvular AFib) who need an alternative to blood thinners. It’s about the size of a quarter and made from very light and compact materials commonly used in many other medical implants.

More than 150,000 people have left blood thinners behind with WATCHMAN.

How WATCHMAN works

In people with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem, more than 90% of stroke-causing clots that come from the heart are formed in the LAA. That’s why closing off this part of the heart is an effective way to reduce stroke risk.

The WATCHMAN Implant fits right into your LAA. It’s designed to permanently close it off and keep those blood clots from escaping.

In a clinical trial, 96% of people were able to stop taking blood thinners just 45 days after the WATCHMAN procedure.

WATCHMAN is implanted into your heart in a minimally invasive, one-time procedure. To implant WATCHMAN, your doctor makes a small cut in your upper leg and inserts a narrow tube, as done in a standard stent procedure. Your doctor then guides WATCHMAN into your heart’s LAA. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Patients commonly stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day.

The WATCHMAN program at Adventist Health and Rideout

We are proud to offer this innovative treatment close to home. Adventist Health and Rideout is one of just a handful of medical centers in the Sacramento region to offer the WATCHMAN implant.

The WATCHMAN program is led by RP Singh, MD, an experienced cardiac electrophysiologist who specializes in treating arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. Ebby Gerges, PA, who works closely with Dr. Singh to provide patient education and facilitate communication between physicians, patients and referring providers.

Learn more

The first step to finding out if you’re a candidate for WATCHMAN is making an appointment with a cardiologist to discuss your options. Ask your primary care provider for a referral to the Adventist Heart & Vascular Institute or talk to your cardiologist about WATCHMAN.

Adventist Health Physicians Network – Cardiac Electrophysiology
414 G Street, Suite 106
Marysville, CA 95901
(530) 844-5648