North Central News

Heart Hospital marks AFib procedure milestone

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is marking a milestone – treating its 1,000th patient using the Watchman implant to help decrease stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

AFib is a common heart disorder that occurss when electrical signals in the heart become irregular, prompting the heart’s upper chamber to beat out of rhythm. This can lead to stroke, blood clots, heart failure, as well as other heart-related complications.

These implants have been used for patients with AFib that is not caused by a heart valve problem. During the minimally invasive procedure, the Watchman device is put into the patient’s body to permanently close off the left atrial appendage, the part of the heart where stroke-causing blood clots commonly form.

The Watchman allows medical professionals to slowly take these patients off blood thinners to decrease the risks associated with taking these medications long-term.

At least 2.7 million Americans have AFib, according to the American Heart Association. If they are not taking blood thinners they are at increased risk of stroke but the blood thinners also can increase the risk of bleeding. To learn more, visit


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