Instead of Warfarin

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I a;lso posted this in another group. It is being trialed at ten UK hospitals.

At the present time stroke risk can be managed with aspirin or warfarin however, the Watchman device can also be used to prevent strokes. 

The reason why people who have AF suffer with strokes is because blood clot breaks away from the left atrial appendage (LAA), a small blind ending pouch off the main left atrial chamber. This ‘appendix’ of the heart is not necessary for normal heart function and is routinely removed during certain types of heart surgery. With the LAA removed the chances of having a stroke are greatly reduced and patients do not need to take warfarin.  

A minimally invasive, local anaesethic procedure has recently been developed to exclude the LAA from the heart. A purposefully designed plug, compressed within a long thin tube (catheter), is delivered into the heart via the leg. Once the catheter is in position, it can be withdrawn allowing the plug to expand and fill the LAA. 

Over the next 6 weeks the body reacts to the plug, causing new tissue to grow over it and therefore permanently occlude the LAA. The most widely used device is called the Watchman and this is being pioneered by the London AF Centre at the London Bridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals. A recent clinical trial of 700 patients has demonstrated that the Watchman is as effective as warfarin in preventing stroke. 

The Watchman is suitable for patients who have AF and have been advised to take warfarin because they have a high risk of stroke, but are unable to because either they have had a complication eg a dangerous bleed or it causes unpleasant side effects. It can also be considered for patients who for various reasons do not wish to take warfarin.

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  • Posted

    Hello. Please post a list of the ten hospitals in Uk that do this procedure. Do you think it is suitable for a person of 65 with AF and controlled asthma ?  THANKYOU. 
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    • Posted

      I don't think that the Moderator will allow me to post that information.

      65? the hospital I contacted says that subject to a heart CT scan it should be OK for me and I'm 80. After having my pacemaker fitted next week I'm going ask either the hospital or my GP to refer me. It is expensive and I hold out little hope of getting it as an NHS patient.

      Just Google 'Watchman device' and you should find all that I did or else 'left atrial appendage (LAA)'

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    • Posted

      Haaa Haaa   so now you are laughing at me because you have reached 80 ! Well done, and good luck for next week. Do you really think you wont be able to get it done on NHS ? That would stop me. 
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    • Posted

      You have no idea how difficult it has been to reach 80!! I was lucky to even reach 2, 8,12, 21 and other milestone and have the scars to prove it. But as I tell people I never give up and am a Winner.

      With the NHS too many people will want it. I will broach it when I have my pacemaker fitted next Frday. My GP said that the local hospital does a similar procedure. 

      Another similar to device to Google is 'amplatzer cardiac plug '

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    • Posted

      If you are still around although the trials have been sucessful the NHS have now stopped the funding for the procedures probably for two years.

      I will be getting the amplatzer in about a month at my own expense. The consultant doing it has done about 120.

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