We’re happy to share that Drs Paul Chiam and Lim Choon Pin of The Heart & Vascular Centre performed a left atrial appendage closure procedure using the new generation Watchman device, known as Watchman FLX, on 24 May 2022.
Our elderly patient was at high risk of stroke due to Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF is an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots within the heart, and consequently stroke. Usually, patients with AF are prescribed potent blood thinners to reduce their stroke risk, but this may cause serious bleeding, particularly in the elderly and those with underlying medical problems such as cancer, stomach ulcers, kidney or liver diseases.
The left atrial appendage is a small outpouching in the left upper heart chamber with no real function, but is where 90% of blood clots form in patients with AF.
The Watchman FLX is permanently implanted in the left atrial appendage to seal off the area where most blood clots form, significantly reducing stroke risk with the same degree of protection offered by blood thinners (but without the risk of blood thinner-induced bleeding). The procedure is minimally invasive, and patients require only a one-night hospital stay.
The Watchman FLX was launched by Boston Scientific in Southeast Asia on 24 May 2022. As this device offers even greater patient safety and is also more efficacious, suitable patients can benefit from this procedure.