Patient says WATCHMAN procedure has given her ‘peace of mind’ with stroke prevention

Courtesy photo. (Heart & Vascular Consultants)

Ruth Rabideaux, who will turn 77 in May, said she has four stents in her heart, high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation.

For three years, she has been taking Eliquis, a blood-thinner medication to help with blood clots and stroke prevention, but felt there was a better way to treat her ailments.

Rabideaux decided to get a WATCHMAN Device implanted inside her heart for two main reasons. One was to help with stroke prevention. The other was so she could get off the medication and reduce the risk of bleeding.

Through research, Rabideaux read up on what the WATCHMAN procedure was, and eventually got in touch with Dr. Delair Gardi of Heart & Vascular Consultants.

A WATCHMAN procedure is where a device is permanently placed in the opening of the left atrial appendage to prevent blood clots from exiting and entering the bloodstream.

The device doesn’t have to be replaced and can’t be seen outside of the body.

The procedure takes roughly 30 minutes and is where the device is guided through the upper leg and into the heart.

“There’s 200,000 people that have this procedure and just my peace of mind to not worry about having a stroke,” Rabideaux said.

Rabideaux had the procedure performed by Gardi on Jan. 24 and is recovering well. She is looking forward to getting off of medication for good as a result 45 days after the surgery.

“That was my motivation, to get off of Eliquis,” she said.

Visit this website for more information on the WATCHMAN procedure and whether it is a good option for you.

“These are for people who suffer from atrial fibrillation and have a problem with continuing to take blood thinners,” Gardi said. “It’s a same-day procedure through the groin, in and out.”