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Watchman Frequently Asked Questions

What is Watchman?

“The Watchman implant is an FDA-approved, innovative one-time procedure designed to reduce the risk of stroke for people with non-valvular AFib. Watchman is a safe alternative to long term Warfarin therapy which offers comparable stroke risk reduction and enables patients to stop taking long term Warfarin.”

Are there eligibility requirements for Watchman?

Yes. Your physician will review the requirements with you to determine if you are a candidate for Watchman. Listed below are criteria for Watchman.
  • Patient has Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) not caused by heart valve problems (non-valvular AFib)
  • Elevated stroke risk (as measured by CHA2DS2-VASc score of 3 or greater)
  • On or have been recommended by my doctor to take a blood thinning medication AND if any of the following apply:
  • Issues with bleeding incidents while on blood thinners
  • Trouble staying within the recommended blood clotting range (a measurement known as INR)
  • Trouble getting regular blood tests to confirm INR
  • Occasionally missing a dose of my blood thinners or not taking them as instructed
  • Intolerance of warfarin and/or other blood thinners
  • High risk of recurrent falls
  • Risk while on blood thinners due to my conditions related to cognitive impairments
  • Need for additional blood thinners (such as dual antiplatelet medications due to stents or other conditions)
  • Increased bleeding risk not reflected by the HAS-BLED score
  • Risk due to a history of serious kidney (renal) failure
  • Other situation that makes me worry about the risks of using blood thinners long term

Is Watchman covered by my insurance?

Watchman is covered for eligible Medicare patients who meet certain National Coverage Criteria. It is also covered by many commercial insurers. Please check with your insurance carrier.

How does Watchman work?

The Watchman device fits into a part of your heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). 90% of blood clots that come from the heart are formed in the LAA. Watchman permanently closes off this part of your heart to keep those blood clots from escaping.

Where can I go to get this procedure?

Several physicians affiliated with Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital offer this procedure at the following locations:

Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas
Heart Rhythm Center
621 N. Hall Street, Suite 108
Dallas, TX 75226

Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Fort Worth
Heart Rhythm Center
1400 8th Ave., Building A, 6th Floor
Fort Worth, TX 76104

You may also find a physician online by visiting Find A Physician on or the Watchman Database online.
*(source: Boston Scientific;


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