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Marking 200 'WATCHMAN' heart procedures at Ellis Medicine

Thursday, May 18, 2023

An Ellis Medicine team led by Dr. Leslie Parikh and Dr. Steven Giovannone have performed their 200th implant of the WATCHMAN device on a patient with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Ellis was one of the first New York state hospitals to perform this procedure in July 2018 and we are still going strong five years later.

For those who may not be familiar, AFib is a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat too fast and with irregular rhythm.  This can cause blood clots in the left atrial appendage (LAA). WATCHMAN closes off the LAA to prevent clots from entering the blood stream and potentially causing a stroke. It serves as a life-saving alternative to blood thinners, which are not well tolerated by all patients and can cause bleeding issues.

“People with AFib have a five times greater risk of stroke than those with normal heart rhythms,” said Dr. Parikh.  “By implanting WATCHMAN, we are greatly decreasing that risk and helping these patients live longer, healthier lives.  I am honored to have been part of this team and 200 successful procedures.”

The WATCHMAN has been implanted in patients worldwide and is done in a one-time, minimally invasive procedure. It’s a permanent device which can’t be seen outside the body. The procedure takes place under general anesthesia in about an hour, although patients generally spend the night.

“On behalf of the team, let me say how proud we are of accomplishing 200 WATCHMAN procedures,” said Dr. Giovannone. “That is 200 people with lower risk of blood clots and strokes, who may no longer need blood thinners. We are gratified by Ellis’ support for this vital program.”

Learn more abou the WATCHMAN procedure here

Dr. Leslie Parikh and Dr. Steven Giovannone (below, right and left, holding the 200th milestone signs) celebrate with their team outside the OR.  

Ellis Medicine | Newsroom

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