ALBUQUERQUE – March 8, 2017 – Physicians at Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center recently implanted the WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) device in a New Mexico patient.
The device offers patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) an alternative to long-term Warfarin blood-thinning medication.
People with atrial fibrillation have a five times greater risk of stroke. Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to pool and form clots in the left atrial appendage (LAA). For patients with non-valvular AF, the LAA is believed to be the source of the majority of stroke-causing blood clots. If a clot forms in the LAA, it can increase one’s risk of having a stroke. Blood clots can break loose and travel in the blood stream to the brain, lungs and other parts of the body.
“The new WATCHMAN LAAC Implant provides physicians with a breakthrough stroke risk reduction option for patients with non-valvular AF,” said Sean Mazer, M.D., of New Mexico Heart Institute, one of the physicians to perform the procedure at Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center. “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.”
Implanting the WATCHMAN device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically need to stay in the hospital for 24 hours to recover.
Adding the WATCHMAN implantation to Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center’s capabilities is part of a continuing trend of bringing the best cardiac care technology to New Mexican patients.