HYANNIS – Cape Cod Healthcare patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation will have an alternative to the long-term use of warfarin medication.
The healthcare institution now offers a newly approved implant procedure designed to keep clots from entering the blood stream reducing the risk of stroke in high risk patients.
Atrial fibrillation, or AF, is a heart condition where the upper chambers of the heart beat too fast and with irregular rhythm. It is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and currently affects more than five million people nationwide.
About 20 percent of all strokes occur in AF patients. The AF-related stokes are usually more disabling and result in more fatalities.
The Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage, or LAA, reducing the risk of stroke.
“For patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are seeking an alternative to warfarin, the Watchman Implant offers a potentially life-changing stroke risk treatment option which could free them from the challenges of long-term warfarin therapy,” said Peter Friedman, MD, a cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Cape Cod Hospital, who performs the procedure.
The Watchman Device procedure lasts about an hour and typically requires a 24 hour hospital stay.