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“I’ve had the confidence to get back to normal life.”

Richard Yates, a 70 year old former business consultant, had been living with atrial fibrillation and prescribed anticoagulant Warfarin for around 15 years. But he had always had an active life and was heavily involved in local sports.

Then, after a hip operation, he suffered a hematoma – possibly as a result of his drug regime – and which crushed a nerve in his leg that took two years to repair.

Advising against the continued use of anticoagulants, his consultant suggested the implantation of a Watchman device. This prevents blood clots forming, and has been proven in a large randomised controlled trial to be as effective as Warfarin in preventing strokes.

Once implanted, the device never needs to be replaced and after several months it is actually incorporated into the heart’s wall, and sealed in by the patient’s own tissue. It is a real alternative to taking a daily drug.

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