AF Association
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Stroke risk reduction

There was a very short article in The Times this morning 7th July) regarding “innovative treatments” that are to be “made routinely available on the NHS”. One of these treatments “reduces the risk of stroke in patients with irregular heartbeats”. Does anyone know what they are referring to?

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Can't find it in The Times but think I found it by Googling it. Just type in search box exactly what you wrote and today's date. It's about left atrial appendage occlusion I think.

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I saw this and think this may refer to the Watchman device. You can Google yo find out all about it. Previously only available..in the main...to private patients

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I would guess LAA occlusion too- this only stops strokes from clots in the appendage and also has some risks

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Some surgeons remove the LAA when doing mitral valve replacements but not other operations. It must be easier to reach when doing the mitral valve. NICE is not that keen on it as a separate keyhole procedure,

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Thanks all. I can’t see anything on the NICE website so I guess they’ve done their press releases but not got around to the website yet.

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Hi Ian, I had this procedure done on the NHS in March due to not being able to take anticoagulants for my AF. I was supposed to having a watchman device fitted but had an Amplatzer amulet instead which does exactly the same job but was a better fit for me. Hopefully this will stop any clots from forming in the LAA which will be one less worry for me. I don't think this is available on the NHS unless there is a medical reason for not being able to take anticoagulants but it can be done privately for between £12,000-£15000.

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My Amplatzer was just under £10K privately at the Royal Sussex.

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That's very reasonable then, maybe I was quoted more because I enquied at a private hospital.

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I was quoted quite a bit more for a Watchman at London Bridge Hospital over three years ago but decided to wait until after having my pacemaker fitted.

I had assumed that when done privately at the Royal Sussex that they had a private operating theatre but they just use the NHS one. Similarly they don't have private rooms. You either go in the NHS ward or a side ward I had the rather dreary side ward.

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My consultant is considering this procedure for me due to me having two brain bleeds whilst on Apixaban. I have yet to find out all the pro's and con's the procedure.

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I was also at risk from brain bleed as I have multiple brain cavernomas, so far not symptomatic and will hopefully stay that way. You need to check pros and cons which I also did mostly online and enquiring on this site and decided that, for me , the pros outweighed the cons. From a patient point of view the procedure seemed very straightforward and painless, the recovery was also straightforward and i was put on mini aspirin for 6mths so only 2mths to go and then hopefully nothing to trigger a bleed.

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I've now had mine for just over 14 months with no problems and the two month echocardiogram showed it to be well seated. I have my normal two yearly echo in August and will not mention it and see what they say as it is at another hospital.

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Mine was also well seated at my 3mth TOE I'm pleased to say. Let us know how you get on at your Aug echo and whether they notice! 😀

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A couple of times I've had the department head who is very good and discusses it as she goes along.

I asked the one I had last time if AF shows up when you are doing it. She said 'What is AF'

I said irregular heart beat, atrial fibrillation.

She said 'Oh yes you have that'

English was not her first language but she said she had been doing scans for ten years and here for two years.

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maybe cardioversion? I had it and it worked for me.

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I am on Xarelto now to lower stroke risk. It has a 98% no stroke risk.

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What are side effects of Xarelto? 98 percent is fantastic.

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You can look it up on the Xarelto website, but it's very individual how people are affected. I couldn't take Xarelto at all - felt ghastly - but others are absolutely fine with it.

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I had a left atrial appendage occlusion in the US this past January. Doing well. Very happy to be off anticoagulants-esp warfarin. A Watchman device was used. irina

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