Parkview Medical Center Performs State-of-the-Art Procedure for Patients with Non-valvular AFib
Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib, is the most common heart rhythm disorder and affects about three million U.S. adults. For patients who have non-valvular atrial fibrillation, AFib that is not caused by a defective heart valve, our cardiovascular specialists at Parkview Medical Center can perform a state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure by inserting a device called the WATCHMAN™. If you are currently taking blood thinners for non-valvular AFib, this procedure may be an alternative for you.
AFib can lead to stroke and heart disease, and is associated with an increased risk of blood clots, which can be life-threatening. Blood thinners are often prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots, but they can come with complications and can increase your risk of heavy bleeding. People who take blood thinners also must pay extra attention to their diet and require regular monitoring to make sure their blood counts are safe.
The WATCHMAN is permanently implanted, and is the only device approved by the Food and Drug administration for this purpose. It’s about the size of a quarter and is a one-time procedure. If our physicians at Parkview Medical Center determine that the WATCHMAN is right for you, the procedure involves inserting a catheter into the upper leg, and takes about an hour under general anesthesia. Following surgery, most patients stay in the hospital for just 24 hours. Patients will take a blood thinner for about 45 days, will then begin an aspirin therapy regimen.
The WATCHMAN does have serious potential complications so patients should only receive this device in medical centers with expertise in this procedure, like Parkview Medical Center.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this advanced technology to our patients who have non-valvular AFib. If the WATCHMAN is right for you, it can be an alternative to blood thinners, which can have side effects.” says Dr. Kathleen Brown, Electrophysiologist, of Pueblo Cardiology Associates.
“The WATCHMAN device is a minimally invasive state-of-the-art procedure that can usually be implanted in less than hour. Patients typically leave the hospital after 24 hours.” says Dr. Charles W. Stout, Electrophysiologist, of Pueblo Cardiology Associates.