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A Watchful Eye

The Watchman, about the size of a quarter, permanently closes off the left atrial appendage to prevent blood clots from escaping.

UHS introduces ‘Watchman’ to curb stroke risk

UHS Wilson Medical Center has become the first hospital in the region to begin using “Watchman,” an implant that can reduce the risk of stroke in patients with an irregular heartbeat. The first procedures using the device were completed in May at the UHS Heart & Vascular Institute by cardiologist Waseem Sajjad, MD, and the patients are doing well.

Watchman offers an alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners for people with the type of atrial fibrillation that is not caused by heart valve problems. Nine in 10 patients can stop taking the medications 45 days after a Watchman implant, Dr. Sajjad noted.

“The permanent implant can reduce stroke risk as effectively as Warfarin, the most common blood-thinning medication,” Dr. Sajjad said. “Unlike Warfarin, Watchman can also reduce a patient’s long-term risk of bleeding.”

To date, more than 20,000 Watchman procedures have been performed worldwide.


Learn more about the advanced capabilities of the UHS Heart & Vascular Institute by calling 763-6547.