A next generation heart procedure for atrial fibrillation (Afib) is now being offered at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus. Afib is an irregular heartbeat that can cause blood clots, which could lead to a debilitating or life-threatening stroke.
The Watchman FLX is a minimally invasive procedure that closes off the heart’s left atrial appendage, where stroke-causing blood clots commonly form in most patients. Performed in the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, the device is passed through a catheter in a vein, then deployed into the heart.
Afib is a common disorder where irregular electrical signals in the heart cause the heart’s upper chamber to beat out of rhythm. The irregular heartbeat may cause blood clots, which could lead to stroke. The Watchman FLX will also help Afib patients reduce the need for blood thinning medications.
Atrial fibrillation needs immediate medical attention because it could lead to a life-threatening stroke, which is otherwise preventable.
“The Watchman FLX device expands the number of patients who can benefit from this advance in surgical technology,” said Abrazo Arrowhead Campus CEO Stephen Garner. “We are pleased to have this new generation treatment now available for our northwest valley patients.”
This technology features a new design that helps physicians safely enter and maneuver within the heart’s left atrial appendage. It allows better engagement with the heart’s tissue for long-term stability and a more complete seal of the appendage to help prevent Afib.
Here are some important things to note about Afib:
•Atrial fibrillation is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
•Those with AFib have a five times greater risk of stroke than those with normal heart rhythms.
•At least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib, according to the American Heart Association.
•Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital physicians participated in studies of the first generation Watchman device and continue to participate in clinical studies of new therapies.
“Abrazo Arrowhead has a long history of offering cardiovascular care and advances in surgical technology for our community. We are proud to offer this new option for treating heart patients who are at high risk for stroke,” added Garner.
Even during the pandemic, your health can’t wait. Abrazo Arrowhead Campus is committed to providing a safe environment for patients needing comprehensive cardiovascular care.
For more information on cardiovascular procedures and stroke treatment at Abrazo hospitals, or physician referral, visit AbrazoHealth.com.
Editor’s note: Dr. Yoaav Krauthammer is a cardiac electrophysiologist on the medical staff at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus in Glendale.