Dignity Health – Northridge Hospital Medical Center (NHMC) has announce the expansion of its cardiovascular surgery services with a new minimally-invasive alternative to treat atrial fibrillation (Afib).
The Watchman left atrial appendage (LAA) closure is a permanent heart implant used to treat Afib not caused by a heart valve problem.
Afib affects the heart’s ability to pump blood normally and can cause blood to pool in the LAA, leading to the formation of a clot.
“When a blood clot escapes from the LAA and travels to another part of the body, it can cut off the blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke,” said Dr. Ali Sovari, Dignity Health electrophysiologist.
“The Watchman Implant fits right into a patient’s LAA, and is designed to permanently close it off and keep those blood clots from escaping, while reducing the challenges that come from a lifetime of blood thinners.”
The small, flexible implant is about the size of a quarter and is placed into the patient’s heart during a minimally-invasive procedure, and oftentimes never needs to be replaced.
“Offering the Watchman, which permanently reduces stroke risk, is the next step for Northridge Hospital in providing high-quality care that our community deserves,” added Paul Watkins, NHMC Hospital president.