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Watchman Procedure patients progressing well after first checkup

Posted at 3:44 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 16:50:12-04

Back in March, we reported about a new state-of-the-art medical procedure being done for the first time at Christus Spohn Shoreline Hospital.

The three patients who underwent that surgical procedure were back today for their first checkup.

The surgery the patients underwent is called the Watchman Procedure.

The patients had their first follow-up visits with doctors at Spohn Shoreline and they seem to be progressing well.

Nearly 3 million Americans have a condition known as A-fib or arterial fibrillation. And if you have it, you’re at a greater risk for having a stroke.

A-fib affects the electrical activity of the heart to the point where it causes the blood to pump slowly.

The action can form blood clots that can travel out of the heart and into the brain, causing a stroke.

Blood thinners are the most common treatment, but not everyone can take them. And it’s those patients who are candidates for the Watchman Procedure.

It is very similar to the implementation of a stint.

Doctors at Spohn Shoreline use a tube to insert it through a vein in your thigh and into your heart.

“After 45 days, about 90 percent of patients can come off their blood thinners and up to a year that number is greater than 95%,” said Dr. Travis Taylor, an interventional cardiologist.”We typically take people off their blood thinners and put them on aspirin and that cuts down on their bleeding tremendously.”

The Watchman Procedure is a one-time treatment.

The device is permanent and doesn’t have to be replaced.