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Valley Hospital Offers Stroke Prevention Tool For Those With High-Risk AFib

Those diagnosed with AFib don't need to rely on prescription blood thinners to ward off a potential stroke.
Those diagnosed with AFib don't need to rely on prescription blood thinners to ward off a potential stroke. Photo Credit: The Valley Hospital

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- More than 3 million Americans are currently affected by atrial fibrillation -- or AFib -- making it the most common heart rhythm disorder in the United States. Although not a rare abnormality, AFib can lead to potentially life-threatening problems such as blood clots and a higher risk of stroke if left untreated.

To effectively minimize the risk of blood clots and strokes caused by AFib, identifying those with high stroke risk is an important first step. Anticoagulant medications are a common treatment, however, they aren't sitable for everyone. That’s where the newly-developed WATCHMAN™ Device comes in.

"The WATCHMAN™ Device is the first proven non-pharmacologic option for reducing stroke risk without the use of anticoagulants," said Dr. Suneet Mittal, director of electrophysiology at The Valley Hospital, and medical director of the Snyder Center for Comprehensive Atrial Fibrillation. The device, a tiny umbrella-shaped mesh tool, is implanted in the heart to close off the left atrial appendage, the most common area of blockage. "The WATCHMAN™ prevents these clots from entering the bloodstream, traveling to the brain and causing a stroke, without the bleeding risks that come with anticoagulant medications," said Mittal. Minimally-invasive and performed under general anesthesia, the WATCHMAN™ Device is revolutionizing AFib care.

"In my opinion, any patient with AFib who is at high risk for stroke but is no longer on a blood thinner should be evaluated to see if she or he is a candidate for the placement of a WATCHMAN™ implant," said Mittal.

At Valley’s Snyder Center for Comprehensive Atrial Fibrillation, patients receive individualized care from a multispecialty team in a setting that emphasizes comprehensive patient evaluation and follow-up. With the most sophisticated technology available in the field, Valley offers a full range of treatments for a variety of heart rhythm abnormalities.

To learn more about the Snyder Center or to make an appointment, click here or call 201-HEARTDR (201-432-7837) or, in New York City, 212-HEARTDR (212-432-7837).