Mansfield News Journal: A New Way to Treat Atrial Fibrillation
For the estimated 2.7–6.1 million people in the U.S. who have atrial fibrillation, the variety of treatment options to manage this form of irregular heartbeat have remained virtually the same over the last couple of years. That is until now.
OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital is the first in the north central Ohio region to introduce the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant procedure, a new treatment option designed to be both innovative and minimally invasive.
For those with atrial fibrillation, risk for stroke immediately increases by four to five times when compared to people without the condition, even causing 15% to 20% of ischemic strokes, which occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot in the blood vessel lining.
This new procedure greatly reduces the risk of stroke by permanently closing off an area of the heart to keep blood clots from escaping. The Watchman implant, which is only about the size of a quarter, is placed directly into the left atrial appendage through a small incision in the leg, effectively preventing clots from forming.
The procedure is done under general anesthesia and generally only takes about an hour. Most patients stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day, helping decrease the over 750,000 hospitalizations that occur each year because of atrial fibrillation.
Since Yohannes Bayissa, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Mansfield Hospital, started performing the procedure in November, he’s now performed it over 70 times in less than a month.
"I would expect we will be able to help a lot of patients," Dr. Bayissa told the Mansfield News Journal. "Atrial fibrillation is very common."
Not sure if the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant might be right for you? Ask a doc! To find an OhioHealth primary care physician near you, click here.
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