UnityPoint Health® - Trinity is First Hospital in the Quad Cities to Successfully Implant WATCHMAN Device to Reduce Stroke Risk
(February 27, 2020 – Rock Island, Illinois) – UnityPoint Health® – Trinity is excited to announce the first successful procedures in the Quad Cities to implant the WATCHMAN device to reduce stroke risk. WATCHMAN is an approved alternative to long-term blood thinner therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) not caused by a heart valve problem. The minimally invasive procedure takes a short amount of time and allows recipients of the device to be discharged the following day with return to their normal activities in a few days.
“We’re thrilled to offer this device right here in the Quad Cities at UnityPoint Health – Trinity. People with atrial fibrillation are at significant risk of stroke and they need to know they have options. Our goal is to help them feel more at ease both emotionally and physically so they can get back to doing what they love most,” says Kathy Pulley, Director of Cardiology Services, UnityPoint Health – Trinity.
The recent WATCHMAN procedures at UnityPoint Health – Trinity were performed by Mark W. Kovach, MD and Rajiv Mallik, MD, both of Cardiovascular Medicine, P.C. The device works by closing off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots that can form in the LAA from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced, and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking their blood-thinning medication.
“WATCHMAN can be a complete game-changer for people with AFib who also need to get off their blood-thinners. This can be a better option for them that reduces the worry that comes with being high-risk for stroke. We’re excited to offer this option closer to home for our patients,” says Robert J. Erickson, President & CEO, UnityPoint Health – Trinity.
The WATCHMAN device from Boston Scientific has been implanted in more than 100,000 patients worldwide and is performed in a one-time procedure. It’s a permanent device that doesn’t have to be replaced and can’t be seen outside the body. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Patients commonly stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day. Studies have shown that the WATCHMAN device offers these patients as much protection from stroke as blood thinners.
For more information, speak with your primary care physician or call (309) 779-5340. Visit unitypoint.org.