The WATCHMAN device for A-fib patients

Photo of the Watchman device being held by tweezers

An alternative to blood thinners

The WATCHMAN implant is an alternative to blood thinners for patients with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem — the most common type of a-fib. The device is implanted in the left atrial appendage, a small pouch in the left side of the heart. The device helps prevent clots from developing within this pouch. When clots develop in this pouch, they can lead to strokes.

After the procedure, a patient must be on blood thinners for a period of time. The implanting doctor will decide when the time is right to stop blood thinners.


See why WATCHMAN reduces stroke risk and how the procedure is done.


Glenda and James 

Heart implant takes high-risk A-fib patients off blood-thinners

Salem Health’s first two WATCHMAN patients, Barry S. and Glenda W., were good candidates because they had several risk factors for stroke and atrial fibrillation — a dangerous combination. Ashit Patel, MD, of Cascade Cardiology performed Glenda’s procedure; Barry received his implant from Matthew Fedor, MD, of the Oregon Heart Center.

Read more about Barry and Glenda



Important to know about the WATCHMAN:

  • It offers an alternative to blood thinners, not a cure for atrial fibrillation.
  • It does not prevent strokes caused by blood clots from other places in the body.
  • Not everyone is a candidate for the procedure.

There are unique considerations for each person. You must discuss these with your doctor.


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