Concord Hospital Among First Hospitals in NH to Offer Newly Approved WATCHMAN™ LAAC Implant

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Published on August 21, 2017

Concord Hospital Among First Hospitals in New Hampshire to Offer an Alternative to Long-Term Warfarin Medication With the Newly Approved Watchman™ LAAC Implant

Concord Hospital is among the first hospitals in New Hampshire to offer patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib) an alternative to long-term warfarin medication with the newly approved WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant.

For patients with AFib who are considered suitable for warfarin by their physicians but who have reason to seek a non-drug alternative, the WATCHMAN LAAC Implant is an implant alternative to reduce their risk of AFib-related stroke. The WATCHMAN Implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots from the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.

People with atrial fibrillation have a five times greater risk of stroke. Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to pool and form clots in the LAA. For patients with non-valvular AFib, the LAA is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots. If a clot forms in the LAA, it can increase one’s risk of having a stroke. Blood clots can break loose and travel in the blood stream to the brain, lungs, and other parts of the body.

Dr. Adam Chodosh is the cardiologist in Concord Hospital Center for Cardiac Care currently performing this procedure. He says that the WATCHMAN device helps patients in several ways. It reduces stroke risk in patients who otherwise would have had no protection because of their inability to take blood thinners. It also helps patients who had been taking blood thinners avoid Emergency Department visits because of uncontrolled bleeding. And more importantly, even though it’s impossible to cite specific numbers, Dr. Chodosh knows that the device has saved patients who would have otherwise had a stroke.

Implanting the WATCHMAN device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.

To find out if WATCHMAN might be right for you, contact Concord Hospital Cardiac Associates at (603) 224-6070.

About Atrial Fibrillation


Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart (atrium) beat too fast and with irregular rhythm (fibrillation). AFib is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, currently affecting more than five million Americans.3 Twenty percent of all strokes occur in patients with AFib, and AFib-related strokes are more frequently fatal and disabling.4,5 The most common treatment to reduce stroke risk in patients with AFib is blood-thinning warfarin medication. Despite its proven efficacy, long-term warfarin medication is not well-tolerated by some patients and carries a significant risk for bleeding complications. Nearly half of AFib patients eligible for warfarin are currently untreated due to tolerance and adherence issues.6

The WATCHMAN Implant is designed to close the LAA in order to keep harmful blood clots from the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke for higher risk patients with non-valvular AFib. The WATCHMAN implant has been approved in Europe since 2005 and is FDA-approved in the United States. It has been implanted in more than 10,000 patients and is approved in more than 70 countries around the world.

For more information on the WATCHMAN implant visit: watchmanimplant.com.

About Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices that are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. For more information, please visit bostonscientific.com.

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4. Hart RG, Halperin JL., Ann Intern Med. 1999; 131:688–695
5. McGrath ER, Neurology 2013; 81:825-832
6. Waldo, AL. JACC 2005; 46:1729-1736.