WATCHMAN™ Reduces Stroke Risk for Afib Patient
Ted Bailey of Chichester is a man of few words.
When Dr. Adam Chodosh of Concord Hospital Cardiac Associates recommended a new treatment to help Ted reduce the threat of stroke without having to take blood thinners, he didn’t hesitate.
“I said ‘Go for it.’”
Now, Ted can point to one word that’s helping keep him healthy: WATCHMAN™.
Ted, who is 87, has atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that affects his heart’s ability to pump blood normally. It also increased his risk of having a stroke because of the possibility of clots forming in his heart and traveling to other parts of his body.
For most patients, blood thinning medication reduces stroke risk, but for some, like Ted, blood thinners cause other problems such as bleeding complications.
That’s why Dr. Chodosh recommended the WATCHMAN device. It closes off the area of the heart where clots can form in Afib patients, reducing the stroke risk, even in patients like Ted, who no longer can take blood thinners.
In March 2017, Ted became the 11th WATCHMAN patient at Concord Hospital Center for Cardiac Care. Within weeks, he no longer was taking blood thinners, while the WATCHMAN made sure no clots could form in his heart.
Ted, a former state trooper, truck driver, volunteer firefighter and town selectman, doesn’t feel much different than he did before the procedure. He’s still working on his property, bringing in wood for the woodstove and building birdhouses in his shop.
He said he doesn’t think about his WATCHMAN — doesn’t even notice that it’s implanted in his heart. But, he also doesn’t have to think about bleeding complications or the nicks, cuts or bruises that could develop into serious problems while on blood thinners.
“Before he’d bleed a lot and he bruised very, very easily,” said Ted’s wife, Lillian. “The biggest difference is not worrying about bleeding and clots.”