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Eye on Health: Minimally-invasive heart procedure restores patient’s quality of life

Robert Widup had always taken blood thinners to manage his heart condition. Widup suffers from atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots in the heart and increase the risk of stroke.

 

While blood thinners helped manage the condition, they posed a risk: uncontrolled bleeding. This caused Widup to live in constant fear of being injured during his cherished horseback riding activities.

 

“Blood thinners are a two-edged sword,” Widup said. “They keep blood clots from forming in your heart but shut off your body’s defense system to clot in case of injury.”

 

To eliminate the risk of heavy bleeding, Widup underwent the one-time, minimally invasive WATCHMAN™ procedure at Memorial Hospital. This involves a small, basket-like device being inserted into the heart. It works differently than blood thinners by closing off the part of the heart where blood clots typically form.

Beacon Medical Group interventional cardiologist Dr. Mayank Mittal inserted the small device into Widup’s heart two months ago, providing him with a renewed quality of life.

“Patients are living in fear of bleeding,” Dr. Mittal said. “it’s a very gratifying feeling to be able to say, ‘We are done with blood thinners now.” 

Beacon has performed over 200 of these procedures locally, providing patients with a renewed quality of life.

 

Learn more about atrial fibrillation: https://www.beaconhealthsystem.org/library/diseases-and-conditions/atrial-fibrillation

 

Learn more about the WATCHMAN™ procedure: https://www.beaconhealthsystem.org/watchman-at-beacon/