PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital Offers an Alternative to Long-Term Warfarin Medication for AF with Next-Gen Watchman FLX Implant


PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital is one of the first hospitals in Los Angeles to offer the next-generation Watchman FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) implant to patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). The implant is an alternative to long-term warfarin medication. 

Up to 6 million Americans are estimated to be affected by AF – an irregular heartbeat that feels like a quivering heart.i According to the National Stroke Association, people with AF have five times greater risk of stroke than those with normal heart rhythm.ii The WATCHMAN FLX device closes 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 thinner, such as warfarin. The next-generation technology has a new design to help treat more patients safely and effectively to ensure the best long-term outcomes.

“The new Watchman FLX implant is a breakthrough treatment,” said Steven Burstein, MD, medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital. “For patients with non-valvular a-fib who are in need of an alternative to warfarin, the implant offers a potentially life-changing stroke risk treatment option that could free them from the challenges of long-term warfarin therapy.”

The WATCHMAN technology has been implanted in more than 100,000 patients worldwide and is done in a one-time procedure. It is a permanent device that does not have to be replaced and cannot 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.

Cardiology Magazine


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