In a one-time procedure as a permanent implant, WATCHMAN safely and effectively reduces the risk of stroke—without the risk of bleeding. WATCHMAN can eliminate the regular blood tests and food-and-drink restrictions that often come with blood thinners.


Atrial fibrillation (AFib) affects the heart’s ability to pump blood normally. This can cause blood to pool in the left atrial appendage (LAA), where blood cells can stick together and form a clot. If a clot travels through the body, it can cut off blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke.

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 fits right into the LAA. It’s designed to permanently close it off and keep those blood clots from escaping. WATCHMAN is about the size of a quarter. WATCHMAN is a permanent device that’s implanted into the heart in a one-time procedure, placed through an incision in the leg.

See how WATCHMAN works.


In a one-time procedure, WATCHMAN reduces the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem.

As a permanent implant, WATCHMAN doesn’t come with the same bleeding risks associated with the long-term use of blood thinners. This makes it an option for people with a risk of serious bleeding on blood thinners.

Wondering if you’re a candidate for a WATCHMAN implant? Take the questionnaire >>

Benefits of WATCHMAN

Implanting WATCHMAN may offer many benefits to patients, including:

  • Reduced risk of stroke and blood clots
  • Minimally invasive procedure – no open chest surgery
  • Requires only one access site (upper leg)
  • Faster recovery, often leaving the hospital one day after the procedure

 “Over the years we have seen many patients whom we recommend blood thinners to reduce their risk of blood clots and strokes. In reality, many such patients still cannot safely take blood thinners, as they also have a high risk of bleeding. Until lately, these patients were left with the options of either not taking blood thinners (thereby increasing their risk of stroke) or taking blood thinners (exposing them to increased risk of bleeding). Fortunately, these patients now have the option of having this procedure as an alternative to blood thinners, to reduce their risk of stroke.”

-Dr. Mevan Wijetunga

Meet with your provider to determine if you might be a candidate for WATCHMAN.

Schedule an Appointment

Cardiology is located at Altru 1300 Columbia. Request an appointment through MyChart or for more information please call 701.780.6236.