Legacy Health's Structural Heart Program

For AFib Patients - The Watchman

Stroke protection for AFib patients - Watchman device

A device called the Watchman— a left atrial appendage closure — gives people with atrial fibrillation an option other than taking blood-thinning drugs. 

Legacy Health's Structural Heart Program was the first health care system in Oregon to offer the Watchman implant for patients with atrial fibrillation and those who want an alternative to blood-thinning drugs.

Amish J. Desai, MD, FACC, medical director of the Legacy Structural Heart Program, has participated in the clinical trials for the Watchman and has more than 10 years of experience using and implanting the device. Dr. Desai has performed more Watchman implant procedures than any doctor in the Pacific Northwest and is among the top 10 nationwide in the procedure.  


Patients who may benefit from the Watchman:

  • Have atrial fibrillation not caused by heart valve disease
  • Have an increased risk of stroke due to atrial fibrillation
  • Are taking blood-thinning medications
  • Are at risk for or have had bleeding complications while taking
    blood-thinning medications       
  • Want to consider alternatives to blood-thinning medications

The implant procedure

The implant is a one-time procedure with a device that does not need to be replaced. Like a stent procedure, the doctor pushes the implant into the heart through a flexible tube (catheter) inserted through a vein in the upper leg. Open-heart surgery is not required and the procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. Watch this video (4:30) about how the implant works

If you have questions about the Watchman device, please call Legacy Medical Group-Cardiology at 503-413-4780.

The information provided here or on the Watchman website is not a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about your diagnosis and treatment options. 

Referring physicians call 503-413-4831.

How Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) can cause strokes

For some patients, strokes are caused by blood clots. Patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) experience increased risk for blood clots because the heart quivers or "fibrillates," releasing only a portion of the blood. When this occurs, blood can collect in the heart and potentially form a clot. If this blood clot pumps out of the heart, to the brain, it can block off the blood supply to an artery in the brain, causing a stroke. 

Patients with Atrial Fibrillation can learn more about the Watchman as an option to decrease their risk of a potentially dangerous blood clot that could cause a stroke. 


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