LAA Closure (Watchman™)
Left atrial appendage (LAA) closure is a procedure that is intended to benefit patients with atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is when electrical impulses that manage the heartbeat do not function properly and the LAA, a small pouch inside the heart, collects blood, which can form into clots. A blood clot in the LAA can release into the heart and cut off blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke.
If a patient is at risk of a stroke due to blood clots in the left atrial appendage, the doctor may recommend a closure procedure. Hattiesburg Clinic offers Watchman, an implant to prevent clotting in the LAA. Watchman can be helpful in eliminating the need for frequent blood tests and the need to take blood thinners, which are another means to prevent blood clots.
The Watchman device is a small, parachute-shaped piece that is implanted during a minimally invasive catheter procedure that does not require surgery. A catheter is inserted into a vein near the groin and guided to the LAA. The Watchman device seals off the LAA to prevent it from releasing potentially dangerous clots.
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