Morning Mix


Mercy Health's WATCHMAN implant helps those with atrial fibrillation

Posted at 10:46 AM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 10:46:20-04

Atrial fibrillation is a condition that affects a large number of the population, causing fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and could eventually lead to stroke. Mercy Health has a safer alternative to help treat those suffering from this condition called WATCHMAN.

Dr. Noah Thormeier, Medical Director of the Structural Heart Program at Mercy Health, explains how it works and why it's a safer option.

Those with AF or NVAF are 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke than those with a regular heartbeat.

The WATCHMAN is a Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant placed during a minimally invasive, one-time procedure that may provide non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) patients with a lifetime of stroke risk reduction without the bleeding risk associated with long-term oral anticoagulation (OAC) therapy.

A safe alternative to long-term warfarin therapy which offers comparable stroke risk reduction and enables patients to stop taking warfarin.

People with the following conditions may qualify to receive a WATCHMAN:

  • Those who have atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem.
  • Patients whose doctor recommends you take a blood thinner for your AFib.
  • Patients who can take warfarin but need an alternative to long-term blood thinners.
  • Those with a history of serious bleeding while taking blood thinners.
  • Having a lifestyle, occupation, or condition that puts you at risk for serious bleeding.
  • Patients taking warfarin and having trouble with their treatment plan, and a different type of blood thinner isn’t an option.

More than 70,000 people worldwide have received the WATCHMAN implant.

To learn more, call 616-685-7800 or visit