Joseph's WATCHMAN Implant Story

Jun 6, 2019

Saint Vincent Hospital in Massachusetts has offered the WATCHMAN (Left Atrial Appendage Closure) Implant option since October 2017. Joseph Abdella was one of the first WATCHMAN recipients and months later, this 94-year-old veteran is still going strong.

Joseph and his daughter“I’m doing great,” shared Abdella, a World War II Marine Corps veteran. “I’m glad I had the procedure done. Everyone at Saint Vincent’s was good to me. I keep going back.” Abdella underwent a transcatherter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure in July 2015 before having the WATCHMAN implant two years later.

Both of his procedures were completed by Dr. Joseph Hannan. “I was most impressed by his life story – a bonafide American hero,” said Dr. Hannan. “His grace and good humor seem impervious to the afflictions of age.”

During a question and answer session with Dr. Hannan, details about the WATCHMAN implant were explained.

Q: Why should a patient consider having the WATCHMAN implant?

A: Patients who have atrial fibrillation and remain at risk for stroke, yet have not been able to tolerate long-term treatment with blood thinners, should consider this procedure as a potential beneficial alternative to long-term anticoagulation.

Q: What would you say to a patient that thinks they want the WATCHMAN implant but they are nervous about the procedure?

A: It is a relatively low risk procedure, and in most cases recovery time is very short.

Q: What are three important things people should pay close attention to when it comes to their heart’s health?

A: First and foremost, maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle; second, make sure to have regular checkups with your clinical caregivers; and finally, do not ignore worrisome symptoms.

For more information about the all cardiac services offered at Saint Vincent Hospital, visit heart and vascular services.