PBGMC Among a Select Group in Palm Beach County to Offer Implant Alternative to Help Reduce Risk of Stroke in Afib Patients

Mar 1, 2018

With the new WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant now offered at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (Afib) have an alternative option designed to help reduce their risk of suffering an Afib-related stroke.

Afib patients have a five times greater risk of stroke and typically have to take long-term warfarin or similar blood-thinning medications with potentially serious side effects. For those who have medical reasons to seek a non-drug alternative, the WATCHMAN LAAC device works by closing off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). By doing so, harmful blood clots that may form due to Afib are kept from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. Over time, patients may be able to stop taking blood-thinning medications.   

“WATCHMAN is just one of several cutting-edge procedures we have started performing in recent years to provide the advanced care for our cardiovascular patients,” said Teresa Urquhart, interim hospital CEO. “The combination of our sophisticated tools and technology and the experience of our cardiac team is what helps us achieve positive outcomes.”

 “We are proud to be one of the select few hospitals in the area to provide Afib patients with a potentially life-changing stroke risk reduction option,” said Dr. Saurabh Sanon, Medical Director of the Structural Heart Transcatheter Therapies program for Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.  “This device could free patients from the challenges that may come along with long-term warfarin therapy.”

Implanting the WATCHMAN Device is a one-time procedure that usually takes about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.  For more information about the all cardiac services offered at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, visit www.pbgmc.com/our-services/heart.

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