WATCHMAN Implant for Atrial Fibrillation

Is WATCHMAN Right For You?

Download Watchman Info Sheet

Learn more about reducing your risk of stroke.

North Kansas City Hospital is the first Northland hospital to use the WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant to reduce stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation (AFib). As a result, the need for blood thinners may be eliminated.

WATCHMAN is a minimally invasive procedure structural repair that reduces the risk of stroke in people with AFib not caused by heart valve problems.

AFib and Stroke Risk

In people with AFib, more than 90% of the blood clots that form in the heart develop in the left atrial appendage (LAA). If a clot leaves the LAA, it can enter the circulatory system, travel to the brain and cause a stroke. The WATCHMAN Implant seals the LAA, preventing blood clots from escaping and reducing your stroke risk.

Blood Thinner Alternative

Blood thinning medicines are commonly used to reduce the risk of stroke in people with AFib. While blood thinners are proven effective, the dietary restrictions, frequent blood monitoring and increased risk of bleeding complications can affect quality of life. The WATCHMAN Implant offers an alternative to blood thinners. 

WATCHMAN Qualifications

To be considered for the WATCHMAN procedure, a person must:

  • Have atrial fibrillation not cause by heart valve problems
  • Be at an increased risk for stroke as determined by test results
  • Be able to take blood thinning medicines
  • Need an alternative to blood thinning medicines

The Procedure

Watchman Device

The implanted device is about the size of a quarter. Through a small incision in the upper leg, a WATCHMAN-trained cardiologist guides a narrow tube with the implant attached into the heart. The implant is placed into the opening of the LAA, creating a seal. The minimally invasive procedure lasts approximately one hour, and patients are under general anesthesia.


With WATCHMAN, recovery is faster and easier than open heart surgery. Patients typically leave the hospital the day after the procedure and return to normal activity within one week. Most people discontinue their blood thinner medication about 45 days after receiving the implant.

Your Heart Team

Our dedicated team of interventional cardiologists, anesthesiologists and clinical staff members evaluate WATCHMAN patients before and after the procedure. Specially-trained cardiologists read each echocardiogram, verify the screening results and confirm the device measurements are precise. 

Watch and Learn

For more details about the WATCHMAN procedure, watch a video. To find out if you are a candidate for WATCHMAN, talk with your cardiologist.

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