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Thromboembolic stroke caused by atrial fibrillation is the primary reason patients are placed on anticoagulation. However, those blood thinners also carry significant bleeding risks. As a result, various mechanical surgical approaches have been tried to prevent stroke, and obviate the blood thinners.
The newly approved Boston Scientific Watchman left atrial appendage occlusion device aims to prevent clots from forming and migrating to the brain. We interviewed Dr. William O’Neill of Henry Ford Hospital, a leading interventional cardiologist, about the Watchman, and whether it will truly allow patients with A-fib to stop warfarin or other blood thinners.