Saint Vincent Hospital in Massachusetts to Offer Implant Alternative to Help Reduce Risk of Stroke for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Oct 29, 2017

Worcester, MA. (October 17, 2017) – Now that the new WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant is being offered at Saint Vincent Hospital, patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (Afib) have an alternative option to reduce their risk of suffering an Afib-related stroke.

Afib patients have a five times greater risk of stroke and typically take long-term warfarin or similar blood-thinning medications, than a patient in normal sinus rhythm, which have potentially serious side effects. For those medical reasons to avoid anticoagulation with a blood thinner, the WATCHMAN LAAC device works by closing off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). By doing so, harmful blood clots that may form due to Afib are prevented from entering the bloodstream and potentially causing a stroke. Over time, patients may be able to stop taking a blood thinner.  

“WATCHMAN joins Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (MTVr) as one of the several cutting-edge procedures we have started performing to provide the best possible care for our cardiovascular patients,” said Jeffrey M. Welch, Tenet’s Massachusetts market CEO. “The combination of our advanced tools and technology, and the outstanding judgment and ability of our cardiac team, is what helps us achieve positive outcomes.”

“The addition of the WATCHMAN procedure to our program is life-changing and potentially life-saving for patients with Afib,” said Dr. Joseph Hannan, Co-Director of the Structural and Valvular Heart Disease program and Director of Interventional Cardiology at Saint Vincent Hospital.  “Our goal is to allow our community to have access to the latest technologies and treatments for their hearts close to home.”

Implanting the WATCHMAN Device is a one-time procedure that usually lasts about an hour. Following the procedure, patients typically stay in the hospital for 24 hours.  For more information about the all cardiac services offered at Saint Vincent Hospital, visit

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