BCH's Dr. Srini Iyengar spoke to Nicole Brady of Channel 7 about an
innovative treatment called Watchman that helps reduce stroke risk for
patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib).
"If you have AFib and certain risk factors like hypertension, diabetes
or a prior stroke, you are more likely to have a stroke," said the
Boulder Heart structural heart program director Dr. Iyengar, who is one
of Colorado's most experienced Watchman physicians and leads the only
team performing Watchman in Boulder County, at Foothills Hospital.
The Watchman device, Dr. Iyengar explained, is a one-time permanent implant
that closes off the heart's left atrial appendage, where most stroke-causing
blood clots form, through a minimally invasive procedure that's done
with a catheter and takes about 30 minutes.
"The device works like a cork on a bottle, preventing blood flow to
the area where clots tend to form," he said. The goal of the procedure
is that afterwards, patients can gradually stop taking blood-thinning
medications yet enjoy comparable reductions in stroke risk.
Use of blood-thinners like warfarin poses potential barriers for certain
individuals, primarily an increased risk of major bleeding--especially
for older adults at high risk of falls and for active people who are concerned
about bleeding if they sustain an injury while pursuing a favorite activity.
Additionally, long-term use of blood-thinners requires frequent blood
tests, dietary restrictions and high prescription costs. Watchman could
be the right alternative for some individuals, according to Dr. Iyengar.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 303-415-8898.