This post was sponsored by Boston Scientific as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I was not really familiar with AFib until just recently. Well, that’s not entirely true – like most people, I had heard the term thrown around on medical shows like Grey’s Anatomy, but didn’t really know what it was. With a little research, we learned that Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia (or irregular heartbeat) affecting more than five million Americans. Because of their irregular heartbeat, people with AFib have a five times greater risk of suffering from a stroke than someone with a regular heartbeat.1
When my father-in-law had a massive stroke in January of 2018, they discovered he had developed AFib and determined that it was probably a major contributing factor in his stroke. He was put on blood thinners to help deal with it and to hopefully avoid any additional stokes.
At the time, blood thinners were pretty much the only option that was presented, so he was put on those. Blood thinners can be tough for some people, as they can make you bruise much more easily, which we found when he fell a few times. If you need any additional procedures, you usually have to come off of the blood thinners for a bit before the surgery so that you don’t have any bleeding issues.
But there actually is another option for those who are experiencing non-valvular AFib (or AFib not caused by a heart valve problem) and need an alternative to blood thinners, and it’s called the WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device from Boston Scientific.
The Boston Scientific WATCHMAN device is a permanent heart device that reduces the risk of stroke without the risk of bleeding that can come with the long-term use of blood thinners like warfarin. The WATCHMAN device can also eliminate the frequent blood tests that come with taking blood thinners, as well as remove the need for dietary restrictions.
The WATCHMAN device is the only FDA-approved implant proven to reduce the risk of stroke in those with non-valvular AFib. It may not be a good fit for everyone with AFib, so if you or a loved one are dealing with AFib, it’s worth bringing it up to start a conversation with your doctor, and discussing benefits as well as risks, including internal bleeding, stroke and others. There have been 100,000 WATCHMAN devices already implanted worldwide, and they have an excellent safety record. It’s a one-time, minimally invasive procedure and a permanent solution.
If you’ve never heard of the WATCHMAN device before, you’re not alone. Most people surveyed (82%) in recent Harris survey by Boston Scientific of patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation had never heard of the WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device. Want to learn more? You can watch an informational video on the WATCHMAN website and also talk to your own cardiologist to learn whether it is a good fit with your personal situation.
1 January CT, Wann LS, Alpert JS, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS guideline for the management of patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the
American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation.
2014 Dec 2;130(23):e199-267. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000041. Epub 2014 Mar 28. No abstract available. Erratum in: Circulation. 2014 Dec