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The Watchman Procedure for AFib....

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The Watchman Procedure for AFib....

 
Old 05-15-2019, 06:45 AM
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NDMIKE88
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Default The Watchman Procedure for AFib....

Saw my PCP yesterday for my 6 month checkup. We started talking about me having to take Xarelto for AFib for the rest of my life. I hate taking pills plus Xeralto is very expensive. She mentioned something about the Watchman procedure where the Cardiologist implants a device in the heart that seals off the area where blood pools thereby greatly reducing the risk of a stroke.
Anyone ever heard of the Watchman procedure? Anyone have it done? I have a consultation with the Cardiologist next month.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:02 AM
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I'm having the same issue as you. Tried Pradaxa, Eliquis and Xarelto, spitting up blood with Xarelto and just can't deal with the issues of the other two. Cardiologist showed me a video of the procedure. They send a tube up thru your right leg thru the center of your heart and implant the cup in the left side of the heart. Supposedly it's pretty safe and works fairly well. Not to thrilled about having the procedure but it beats the alternative. I don't see me living to long with all the crap happening to my body. Sucks getting old..
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by pjitty View Post
I'm having the same issue as you. Tried Pradaxa, Eliquis and Xarelto, spitting up blood with Xarelto and just can't deal with the issues of the other two. Cardiologist showed me a video of the procedure. They send a tube up thru your right leg thru the center of your heart and implant the cup in the left side of the heart. Supposedly it's pretty safe and works fairly well. Not to thrilled about having the procedure but it beats the alternative. I don't see me living to long with all the crap happening to my body. Sucks getting old..
Sorry to hear that you are having problems taking blood thinners. I'm lucky in that reguard...I can tolerate the Xeralto but don't like taking it. Plus in the long run having the procedure will be saving me money because its covered by Medicare and I can stop taking the Xeralto.
Keep me posted as to what you and your Cardiologist decide. I would think if you can't tolerate blood thinners its a no brainer to have the procedure done.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:37 PM
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Yep. My mother-in-law had it done. There is a slight risk of a complication like, oh, perforation of the heart muscle. Yep, that happened to her. When they couldn't stop the bleeding they had to perform open-heart surgery on an emergent basis. What started out as a short procedure in the cath-lab ended up being a major to-do with 6 months of recovery.

The good news is that while they were fixing the hole in her heart they went ahead and sewed up the left atrial appendage (where the Watchman is intended to go), eliminating the need for blood thinners. It wasn't as easy as planned, but it worked out in the end.

Bottom line--it does work, but, as with any procedure, there are risks.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:35 PM
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They’re done at my hospital. I have no idea how many we’ve done, cathlab is downstairs from us. But I can tell you we’ve only had 1 go to surgery ( transferred in from an outside facility)....watchman skipped out and was ejected out of the heart and into the descending aorta.

Only other options are very invasive, left thoracotomy to isolate the appendage is one.

im not sure of specifics but do NOT have the procedure done at hospital that doesn’t do open heart surgery.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:15 AM
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in Dec '17 I went into AFIB during a colonoscopy follow up. (no polyps, no cancer). put on Xarelto immediately. about 2 weeks later, went to the hospital and they put the juice to me(paddles) to get me in sinus rhythm. that worked but I still go into AFIB, but fall back into sinus rhythm. there is a procedure, Abalation??, that is used to keep sinus rhythm and prevent afib. I understood it is relatively minor surgery used when patients cannot maintain sinus rhythm. I believe a heart monitor is worn for sometime afterwards to see if afib persists. if the abalation works, then blood thinners are ceased. since I fall back into sinus rhythm, they won't do that procedure on me and I have to continue Xarelto. which without insurance is $500 a month. I'm on Medicare and the Xarelto eats up my Medicare RX allowance. I pay $136 every 90 days, and about $1200 of my allowance is used up each time. later in the year, when my balance is low. I go from 90 day RX to a 30 day RX for around $45, and then the last 2 months (donut hole) I pay $123 a month. my doc office gave me a month's (Dec) worth for free. Xarelto has it's risks. can't drink alcohol or much of it. alcohol thins yours blood, and you could have brain bleed. if I do cut myself, I bleed a lot before it stops. and if I was in an accident, hurt real bad, bleeding to death, bleeding out is an "option." I take 20 mg daily after supper. it usually gives me a headache. Eliquis was a possible replacement but it's expensive and pretty much the same thing. I'm on FakeBook and the "Watchman" keeps showing up my page. I really don't want any surgeries . I'm afraid with my luck, they'll **** up and kill me.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:29 AM
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Similar story here (AFIB and on Eliquis forever). I am seeing two cardiologists (we live in two states) and neither mentioned Watchman as a possible treatment.

Both said the same treatment methods, as did my GP:
1. Immediate usage of Eliquis (or a variant)
2. Drugs to stabilize the AFIB
3. If not stabilized, try cardioversion

That worked for me, until it didn't. I fell back into AFIB twice and they've increased the dosage of Flacainide. So far, so good.

Odd thing: After the cardioversion was successful, they let me go off Eliquis for about 6 months. All of my bad symptoms disappeared -- no more skin tearing, bruising, and gushing bleeders. After AFIB came back, they put me back on Eliquis and I don't have any of the nasty skin side effects. No bruising or tearing. Weird.

Anyway, they said next step for me is still drug based. They prefer that to ablation. Never mentioned Watchman.

I paid $500 per month with GoodRX and/or Blink Health as they were cheaper than my insurance. Now I'm on Medicare and payments are like Gary79 described.


.

Last edited by GS Ragtop; 05-16-2019 at 12:04 PM.
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