“I am feeling so much better that I am finally off blood thinners!"
– Michael McIntyre
Last September, Srinivas Iyengar, MD, FACC, Structural Heart Director; Daniel Friedman, MD, FACC, FHRS; and Eugene Parent, MD, FACC, cardiologists with Bradenton Cardiology Center, performed the first WATCHMAN™ implant procedure at the Valve Institute at Manatee Memorial Hospital. Since then, patients who are candidates now have a safe alternative to taking blood thinners.
The WATCHMANTM is a small, mesh device shaped like a parachute that is implanted in the left atrial appendage (LAA) of the heart. It is designed for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib causes blood to pool in the LAA, which can lead to clots. But once implanted, tissue gradually grows over the device, which blocks the area and prevents any blood clots from forming.
Dr. Iyengar successfully performed the procedure on local resident Michael McIntyre on January 25, 2016. “Mr. McIntyre was the model patient and did really well,” says Dr. Iyengar.
“He met the criteria for the WATCHMANTM, and is no longer on prescription blood thinners.”
Michael says he has AFib, which required him to be on prescription blood thinners, but they also caused complications for him with his bladder cancer treatment. “When I was on blood thinners, I had to constantly get my blood tested or change my diet,” he says. “But I also have bladder cancer, and many of the procedures I have for that cause a lot of bleeding. I was more scared taking blood thinners than I was of having a stroke by not taking them.”
Regarding his experience, Michael says he feels great and couldn’t even tell he had a procedure done. “I can’t say enough good things about my experience at the hospital, the people who work there, the surgery, and my overnight stay. Dr. Iyengar is totally professional, responsive, and just a pleasure to work with. He explained the process in detail, and that put me at ease. I have total confidence in his care of me and highly recommend him to anyone who might be considering this procedure,” says Michael.
Could you be a candidate for the WATCHMANTM?
Dr. Iyengar says there are four categories of people who are good candidates for getting the WATCHMANTM.
If you are on blood thinners and are at high risk for falls; lead an active lifestyle and take blood thinners; cannot regulate your blood thinner levels; or have a history of bleeding, you may be qualified to have the procedure.
Check with your doctor to find out if the WATCHMANTM is right for you.
For more information on the WATCHMANTM, please contact Amanda Harrington, RN, BSN, Structural Heart Navigator, at 941-708-8064 or Amanda.Harrington@mmhhs.com.