A better way to reduce stroke risk for some AFib patients
The WATCHMAN™ device is the only FDA-approved implant proven to reduce
stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation (AFib) that is not caused
by a heart valve problem. Boulder Heart's cardiac specialists—led
by Dr. Srini Iyengar, one of Colorado's most experienced WATCHMAN
physicians—are the only team providing this innovative, minimally
invasive procedure in Boulder County, at Foothills Hospital in Boulder.
Atrial Fibrillation & Stroke Risk
People with AFib are at a much higher risk of developing a stroke than
those with a regular heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation can significantly
decrease the heart’s pumping capacity, which increases the risk
of clots forming—particularly in the left atrial appendage (LAA),
a small sac in the left atrium (the top left heart chamber). If a clot
escapes and travels to another part of the body, it may limit blood supply
to the brain and cause a stroke.
Reducing Stroke Risk for AFib Patients
Blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, can be an effective way to
reduce stroke risk in AFib patients. However, there are potential barriers
for certain individuals—primarily an increased risk of major bleeding,
especially for older adults at high risk of falls. Additionally, people
who enjoy an active lifestyle may want to avoid long-term use of blood-thinners
due to concerns about bleeding in the event they sustain an injury while
pursuing a favorite sport or activity.
Finally, long-term use of blood-thinners requires frequent blood tests,
dietary restrictions and high prescription costs. The WATCHMAN procedure
could be the right alternative for some individuals.
The WATCHMAN Procedure
For people with AFib, more than 90% of stroke-causing clots are formed
in the LAA. In order to close the LAA, your cardiologist will place the
device inside the heart through a one-time minimally invasive procedure.
A small incision is made in the upper leg and your cardiologist gently
guides the device up through a vein, where it permanently seals the opening
of the LAA and keeps it from releasing clots.
Both local and general anesthesia may be used during the procedure, which
is conducted in the Cath Lab at Foothills Hospital. Most patients are
able to go home the next day, with overall recovery averaging two to four days.
To learn more about WATCHMAN or make an appointment, call 303-415-8898.
Why choose Foothills Hospital and Boulder Heart?
All WATCHMAN procedures are performed by our Structural Heart program
Dr. Srinivas Iyengar. With more than 100 WATCHMAN procedures successfully completed, Dr. Iyengar
is the most experienced cardiologist performing WATCHMAN in the Northern
Front Range and Denver metro areas. In fact, Dr. Iyengar has been selected
to be Colorado’s only physician certified to teach other cardiologists
how to perform WATCHMAN. He and
Dr. Sameer Oza collaborate to provide both
EP treatments and WATCHMAN to our patients.
To learn more about WATCHMAN or make an appointment, please call 303-415-8898.
Foothills Hospital is the only hospital in Boulder County to conduct WATCHMAN,
along with a handful of hospitals along Colorado’s Front Range and
about 100 hospitals across the nation.
BCH offers a full range of cardiology services at our three Boulder Heart
clinics, conveniently located across Boulder County in Boulder, Lafayette
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