If you and your doctor have decided that LAA closure using the WATCHMAN device is the best stroke-prevention treatment for you, there are certain preparations that you will make in coordination with your care team. These preparations may include tests, dietary and medication restrictions, exercise restrictions, and gathering of any personal items you will need during your stay at the hospital. Most LAAC patients stay in the hospital for one night. Because you will be unable to drive for a short period of time following the procedure, you will want to have a plan in place for how you will return home and who will stay with you for a few days.
Planning for Your Procedure
Talk with your doctor as far in advance of the procedure as possible and find out if any forms need to be filled out or medical tests will need to be performed before the procedure.
Before your procedure, you will want to identify a family member, friend or neighbor who can take you to the hospital and pick you up when you are discharged. You will also need to identify a caregiver who can help you in the time immediately following your procedure because you will not be allowed to drive, exercise vigorously or lift heavy objects for a few days after you return home.
In the days just prior to your procedure, you will want to begin gathering the personal items you will need during your overnight stay at the hospital:
- Any medications you will need to take while in the hospital. Be sure your doctor is aware of all medications you are taking, including those prescribed by other physicians.
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures and any similar items. You will be asked to remove these items for the procedure, but you may want to have them with you for your hospital stay.
- Comfortable clothing for your trip home. After your procedure, you will want to have comfortable clothing for the next day, when you are able to go home.
You will be advised by your care team as to your dietary restrictions. Typically, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. This requirement is to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with the anesthesia.
Be sure your care team is aware of all medications you are taking. Also advise them of any vitamins or supplements you are using. Your doctor will give you instructions as to which medications you should continue and which you should stop taking – and when – before the procedure. Any medications you are advised to take or continue taking should be swallowed with only a sip of water.
Admission to the Hospital
Generally, you will come to the hospital in the morning of the day of your procedure, where you may be asked to fill out forms and prepare for your procedure and have any necessary tests performed.
Click here to learn about how the WATCHMAN LAAC procedure is performed.
Click here to learn what happens after the WATCHMAN LAAC procedure is completed.