Alternative to the use of anticoagulants for people with atrial fibrillation

Cayey Mennonite Medical Center and its Cardiovascular Center set a new record by reaching one hundred patients with the Watchman heart implant, a permanent heart device from Boston Scientific designed to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) -valve not. the hospital institution in a press release.

According to the information, the Mennonite Medical Center is one of the first hospital facilities on the island to offer this device as an alternative to the lifelong use of anticoagulants.

The prevalence of AF on the island is estimated at around 28,000 patients, who suffer from a condition that causes an irregular heartbeat that can feel like a fluttering heart. “People with AF have an increased risk of stroke at a rate five times higher than those with normal heart rhythms,” the information adds.

“The Watchman device shuts off an area of ​​the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to prevent harmful blood clots that can form from entering the bloodstream and causing a stroke. By closing the LAA, the risk of stroke can be reduced and patients can eventually stop using their anticoagulant,” explains Roberto Rizzo, business unit manager of Boston Scientific.

According to the executive, this device serves as a safe and effective alternative to reduce the risk of stroke, especially for patients who have a clinical justification to stop anticoagulation therapy, for example patients who have a history of bleeding due to taking of this medication…

In turn, Dr. Pedro J. Colón Hernández, director of the structural and interventional program of the Cardiovascular Center, in the statement pointed out his pride that he has performed the hundred implants with this device. “By having this technology, we definitely offer the patient a significant improvement in their cardiovascular conditions. The fact that a patient may not need to take blood-thinning medication while reducing the risk of stroke is certainly beneficial, life-changing.”

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For the electrophysiologist José Marcial, it is a therapy that offers a non-pharmacological and permanent protection solution against possible bleeding and stroke. “The goal is to continue implementing innovative techniques to offer a better quality of life to the population that relies on our experience. It is truly an achievement that fills us with satisfaction.”

According to the statement, the device has been implanted in more than 200,000 patients worldwide and is performed in a single procedure. It is further explained that it is a permanent device that does not need to be replaced and cannot be seen outside the body. “The procedure is simple, it is performed under deep sedation, which makes it less invasive, and it takes about one hour. Patients usually spend the night in the hospital and leave the next day,” explains Dr. Marcial, noting that the device is about the size of a 25 cent coin and is made of very light and compact materials, which are common in other medical implants.

For more information on the Watchman device visit



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