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Congratulations to Boulder Heart’s Drs. O’Hair & Iyengar

  • Category: General, Cardiology
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  • Written By: Boulder Community Health
Congratulations to Boulder Heart’s Drs. O’Hair & Iyengar

Two of the values Boulder Community Health (BCH) holds in high esteem are innovation and collaboration. Invention and advanced technology, along with effective partnerships are practiced every day – especially by the cardiology team at BCH’s Boulder Heart.

In April, Daniel O’Hair, M.D. and Srini Iyengar, M.D. achieved innovative and collaborative milestones within their growing cardiology practices.

  • Dr. O’Hair - Director of Cardiovascular Surgery and one of the nation’s foremost surgeons in robotic-assisted mitral valve repair – led an international group of surgeons, analyzing the longevity of structural heart valves. The randomized trial results reveal new data within the field of cardiology, which will help how patients receive care worldwide.
  • Dr. Iyengar - Structural Heart Program Director – performed his 100th WATCHMAN procedure at Foothills Hospital on April 25. Dr. Iyengar, a highly experienced interventional cardiologist, performs the most innovative, minimally-invasive procedures available to treat valvular heart conditions.

100th Patient Receives WATCHMAN Implant

The last Monday in April was an exciting day in the Cardiac Cath Lab as BCH’s 100th patient received a WATCHMAN implant. Dr. Iyengar and his talented team performed the procedure. The 100th patient received the WATCHMAN FLX™ - which is the newest generation of the WATCHMAN device, released within the last year. 

WATCHMAN - about the size of a quarter – is a one-time procedure (not requiring open-heart surgery) designed to reduce the risk of strokes that originate in the left atrial appendage (LAA).

"It is a true pleasure to be a part of the remarkable team at BCH," says Dr. Iyengar. "I’m also appreciative of each and every patient who trusts me with their care."

This stroke-risk reduction option is for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFIB), seeking an alternative to long-term blood-thinning medications. Ninety percent of stroke-causing blood clots that come from the heart are formed in the LAA.

To implant WATCHMAN, Dr. Iyengar makes a small cut in a patient’s upper leg and inserts a narrow tube, as done in a standard stent procedure. He then guides WATCHMAN into the left atrial appendage of the heart. The WATCHMAN implant permanently closes off the LAA part of the heart to keep blood clots from escaping. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour.

Worldwide, more than 200,000 patients have left blood thinners behind with the WATCHMAN implant, which is made by Boson Scientific. With almost 20 years of clinical trials and real-world experience, WATCHMAN has been proven safe and effective and is FDA-approved. In a clinical trial, 96% of people could stop taking blood thinners just 45 days after the WATCHMAN procedure. 

"I’m proud to say that in successful implants here at BCH, that 100% of our patients were able to be eventually compared to the 96% seen in clinical trials," says Dr. Iyengar. 

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. To learn more about Boulder Heart's Dr. Iyengar, go to or

Boulder Heart’s Daniel O’Hair, MD – director of cardiovascular surgery – is the lead author of a groundbreaking new worldwide study, analyzing the longevity of structural heart valves. Dr. O’Hair is the Lead Author of a Worldwide New Heart Valve Study

BCH is honored to share that Dr. O’Hair is the lead author of a groundbreaking new worldwide study, analyzing the longevity of structural heart valves. As the lead author, Dr. O’Hair worked with an international group of surgeons to conduct the randomized trials - the largest of its kind for valve deterioration.

The study, funded by Medtronic, was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session, held April 2-4 in Washington, D.C. Dozens of authors contributed to this study, the largest of its kind to date.

The investigators analyzed data from 1,128 patients who underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and 971 patients who underwent surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) to determine the frequency of structural valve deterioration at five years.

The randomized trials comparing TAVR and SAVR are the first to show less structural valve deterioration after five years for patients treated with TAVR compared with SAVR.

Using Doppler echocardiography alone, SVD occurred statistically and significantly more frequently with SAVR than with TAVR and was associated with a doubling of risk for mortality or rehospitalization for valve failure.

With TAVR valves shown to last longer than surgical valves in most patients, there will likely be a shift toward a younger population having TAVR procedures. TAVR, which is U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved for all ages, is an innovative, minimally invasive procedure to replace failing aortic valves.

Congratulations to Dr. O’Hair on this major accomplishment! To learn more about Dr. O’Hair’s work at Boulder Heart, go to