In the battle against heart disease, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital has announced that it has acquired a Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant.
The "watchman device" is an alternative for people with atrial fibrillation caused by non-heart valve problems, according to hospital officials. The implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage to keep harmful blood clots from forming and causing stroke.
Several patients have recently received the implant, which is designed to reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation related stroke, hospital officials said.
"This is a game-changer for patients for who have atrial fibrillation yet cannot tolerate typical blood-thinning agents," Dr. Todd Senn, cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology with Columbia Heart, said.
Implanting the device is a one-time procedure that usually last about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically stay in the hospital for approximately 24 hours, hospital officials said.